Like many people, I’ve been working on my to-do list, hoping it lasts a little longer than the first week of the new year. I’ve been pondering my writing life, assessing and setting goals and trying to decide what’s next. The sequel to my first novel will be released this year, and I know there is a long editing process yet to be done to bring that book to the marketplace, but once that is finished, I’ve been trying to discern what path I should take. I’ve been praying, and have asked others to pray, but so far no clear direction has been given. The options lay before me like juicy pieces of tropical fruit on a platter. I know all of them will taste good, all of them will be nourishing and all of them will bear more fruit according to their kind. But which one is what God wants for me?
I was getting a little tense because the answer wasn’t clear, until I remembered something I told my daughter when she was trying to make a decision about the direction of her life. I’d come across Psalm 84 and e-mailed verses 3 and 4 to her, because they struck a cord. I pulled out my Bible and read them again.
“Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young – a place near your altar, O Lord Almighty, my King and my God. Blessed are those who dwell in your house; they are ever praising you.” (Ps. 84:3-4).
As I read those words I pictured those tiny birds flying high over the temple in Jerusalem. I thought about all that they would have seen and heard – the priests and believers coming and going to offer sacrifices, the songs sung in praise and worship, and above all, the presence of God in that place. I thought how true it is, even today, that we must nest close to the Lord and his people.
So many times God has told us this – stay close, let me gather you under my wing, hide yourself in me, abide in me. I think he said it so often because He knows how prone we are to not do it. We pull away so quickly; we find reasons to stay away, to our detriment.
It’s interesting that the very next verse talks not about resting in one place, but about those “who have set their hearts on pilgrimage.” The principle is clear: You don’t have to stay in one place, or make any one decision, to stay close to the Lord. Whether we choose one path or another for our lives or our careers, as long as we stay close to the Lord, depending on Him for strength and guidance, praising and thanking Him, we will be in the right place. It was because those little birds were nesting in the courts of the Lord that they could fly high and far in any direction they chose.
So my prayer has changed from, “Lord show me what to do,” to, “Lord, help me to stay close to You.”
Visit Marcia's website - http://www.vinemarc.com/
Oh my. What a good reminder about how we need to focus not on self, but on God! Thanks for making me think!ReplyDelete
What a confirmation - exactly the message that God has been speaking to my heart these days as i consider the new year. (And by the way, I am looking forward to the sequel!)ReplyDelete
Perfect..........thanks Marcia.... a great reminder for the new year. I'm heeding it!ReplyDelete
And I'm with you about making these plans last longer than the first week of January! (smile)
Happy New Year!
Thanks Marcia. I especially appreciated your thoughts about those who set their hearts on pilgrimage - which I can relate to both literally and figuratively.ReplyDelete
Just read yesterday of a study that shows that couples together for a long time know less about each other as time progresses.
Theory is that they spend less time in real communication and so lose the edge on their knowledge of each other.
Your blog reminds us that the same is true of our relationship to God. Too easy to think we've got it all together and lose an increasingly closer intimacy with Him.
"The principle is clear: You don’t have to stay in one place, or make any one decision, to stay close to the Lord. Whether we choose one path or another for our lives or our careers, as long as we stay close to the Lord, depending on Him for strength and guidance, praising and thanking Him, we will be in the right place. It was because those little birds were nesting in the courts of the Lord that they could fly high and far in any direction they chose.:ReplyDelete
Absolutely true. Thanks, Marcia.
Everytime I read this I say, "Beautiful". Thanks again Marcia.ReplyDelete