Upwardly Dependent » walking the delicate balance of absolute truth and overwhelming grace.

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The Problem with the Hurried Life

It’s a day of last-minute gift buying, no shame line-cutting, and absolute madness.

I mean it’s the day before the day before Christmas.

When I narrowly escaped the claws of Wal-Mart tonight, I was pleased that I only forgot hand soap…and that I didn’t lose any articles of clothing while hurdling through the mosh pit on the pecan aisle.

It’s crazy out there. I’m the truest form of extrovert God could create, but the hustle and bustle of the holidays makes me crave the serenity of my home.

Last week, my husband led a discussion in our Bible class about living the hurried life. We took a look at the example of Christ and examined His balance between being busy yet respecting the quiet.

Do you remember the story of Jairus? A ruler of the synagogue, he probably had some clout in the community. But when his daughter fell ill, he lost all pride. He fell at the feet of Jesus and begged that his only girl, twelve years old, be healed. So Jesus agreed to help.

They walked and people pressed all around Christ {I can only image this was much worse than Wal-Mart’s baking aisle tonight}. One of the people surrounding Him was suffering from her own set of troubles.

She had been bleeding for twelve years. TWELVE. YEARS. She was completely broke because she spent all of her money paying doctors to help heal her. There was nobody that could do anything for her, and without money, there was nothing she could do for herself.

But maybe this Jesus man could.

So here we have Jesus, on his way to heal a twelve-year-old dying girl. He’s walking, with no personal space and no time to spare. He was obviously busy.

This woman, desperate for anything to make her well, sees an opportunity to be relieved of the misery she’s experienced for so long. If she could only touch the fringe of his coat, maybe she could be healed.

And in that moment, brokenness met the supernatural.

Jesus didn’t have to respond. When He felt the power leave Him, the woman had already been healed. He had places to be, after all.

But He turned around. He looked the woman in the eyes. And He made her the most important thing in His life at that moment.

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I recently met with one of my blogger/mother/expat mentors, Laura Parker. She spent several years working in SE Asia, and I was honored to sit at her feet for an hour and learn some lessons from the field.

She shared with me a story from her personal mentor, a mother who spearheads a work called Free Burma Rangers {please come back and click this link…this video about their work is fascinating.}

Anyways, when Laura and the FBR leader met, she asked what would be the best advice she could give about living a life sold out for Christ.

This woman told how she asked God to give her clarity when she moved to work with the Karen people of Burma {Myanmar}. His only instructions were this:

Love well the person in front of you. When you are able to do this, I will give you your next assignment.

She’s been working there for over 15 years and she’s still waiting on her next assignment.

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My mind goes back to Jesus and the woman with the issue of blood. He was a busy man. There was a never-ending mob of people surrounding Him, incessantly asking for things.

The thing is, Jesus was never hurried. It seems like He soaked up whatever situation He was in. He saw people. He saw needs. He saw opportunities to love well.

Sometimes I am overwhelmed by the amount of need in the world. I read articles in world news about mass killings and I watch videos about refugee injustices and I write papers on mental health issues.

Sometimes I wonder why I even try. Why I even invest in people who don’t seem to care about truly following the Way. Why I give to the homeless man when there are dozens more just down the street. Why I spend hours preparing another meal for the people I love.

It’s because I am supposed to follow the model of Christ.

Love well the person in front of you.

Today, it might be a person in the hospital waiting room. Tomorrow, it might be a woman trying to recover from years of addiction. Every single day, it will be my husband and daughter.

I think it’s possible that God could never give me a great mission. It won’t always look glittery and fancy. Sometimes it might just look like wiping another naked booty or letting someone take the closer parking spot.
Nobody will write books about me or give me awards for doing these small things. But what a tragedy to miss them.

For now, I will consider the small thing a truly great thing. Loving well the person right in front of me.

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Comments

comments

Jennifer Bailey ArgoDecember 24, 2013 - 4:17 pm

We have to remember that loving those children God has blessed us with is a mission field in itself! Instilling them with God’s love and his desire for us to serve others is sowing unimaginable seeds for his kingdom! Praying over them for God to take them and use them for His service will not return void. What a precious baby!!!

Suzy Stone GlymphDecember 24, 2013 - 5:26 pm

God bless you for your heart to love others where they are :)