My schedule lately has been…well, let’s say that it’s been rather robust. Unless you saw my “to do” list, you may not fully understand; however, I like to be busy. It’s often tiring, but it’s also very stimulating to my creative side.
At church, we finished up a great series of puppet shows in May that were attended by around 4,000 guests. On Memorial Day, we sponsored a big car show. June has brought us a couple of hundred kids each night at VBS, along with a Special Needs VBS that was a resounding success! I’ll be at a staff retreat on Monday and Tuesday, and then on the following Sunday, I leave for Nicaragua. Returning from that trip, I’ll be home for about five days before I leave for another week of missions in Mobile, AL.
Somewhere in the middle of that schedule, there has to be time to work on new music, rehearse the Praise Band, Praise Team and Worship Choir. The web site has to be maintained, and, staring back at me from my list, there’s always plenty of graphics to produce for the website and ongoing church ministries. There’s also preparation time for the two discipleship groups that I am involved in, and I must always study to teach my Revelation Group and my Sunday School Small Group. And so the calendar goes…but I do love it.
Sometimes, I find it much too easy to become a little overwhelmed with what to do next. The fact of the matter is that everything on my list is important. It’s all important to me, and it’s certainly important to others. Everything seems to be vital, and I refuse to do anything halfheartedly. Often, in the middle of my schedule, I have to stop and take some time to regroup my agenda, reprioritize my purpose, evaluate my time and production, and, most importantly, lay it all at the feet of Jesus. Did you catch that last part?
In my forty-three years upon this earth, I have found that my life’s work is best viewed from the perspective of presentation before my Savior. Whether it be secular work, or something involving ministry, Christ should be the judge of the worth of my endeavors. After all, it is because of Him, and for Him, that I should do all things. And, it is His opinion that I should hold in highest regard.
Everyone has moments when their schedule is tough and life seems to not offer up enough time to fit everything in. These are times when we might begin to feel overwhelmed and consumed by our responsibilities. The writer of the Book of Lamentations was feeling a bit overwhelmed by his own situation, a situation much more desperate than we may ever experience.
In Lamentations 3:18, the writer even admits that his own hope in the Lord has perished at the hand of the circumstances he is experiencing. Thankfully, by verse 21, he is beginning to recall the promises of God, and hope begins to emerge. His situation is much more extreme than that of a busy schedule, but the promises of God hold the same validity in our own life as they do in his…
“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”
– Lamentations 3:22-23 (ESV)
Let me boldly say to you that God is forever faithful. He is flawlessly faithful. He is flawlessly faithful forever! In the midst of the fire that often encroaches upon our comforts, God is there. In the midst of the deep water of fear and doubt, God is there. When sickness comes, when loved ones die, when Satan seeks to destroy…God is there, and His mercies, if we will seek them, are as new as the breaking dawn of another day.
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior….Because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you…” – Isaiah 43:1-3a, 4 (ESV)
In the light of hectic lives, busy schedules, pain and sorrow…God is forever our portion, and it is in Him where our hope should be eternally grounded (Lamentations 3:24).
Today, don’t allow Satan to convince you that your current set of circumstances have propelled you beyond great reach of God Almighty. And, don’t let Satan convince you that God’s love for you is diminished because of your lack of faith. Our faith is fragile, but God’s love isn’t.
For those who read this today, know that God loves you beyond reason! He sees your life as one containing immense worth and limitless future, not because you do everything right, but because Christ did. It is in the completed work of Jesus Christ where we find our hope and our future, and it is only in that same completed work of Christ where the eyes of God find us righteous. If you're pursuing God, don't feel that your current situation has caused you to slip away from His grace and mercy. He's there; He knows, and He's coming. Wait for it...
Be encouraged, regardless of your circumstances, that God loves you, and He is flawlessly faithful forever.
Keith Beatty is a Worship, Missions and Media Pastor living in North Alabama. He's excited and very humbled to be a follower of Jesus Christ!