1-21-2018 Cease Striving

FROM THE PASTOR

January 21, 2018

 

 

Of all the months of the year, January is my least favorite. It’s cold, it’s dark when I get up, it’s overcast during the day and dark when I go to bed. The roads are a constant challenge. A third of the time they’re slush, a third of the time they’re ice and the last third they’re covered with fresh snow. Besides, Christmas is over so the excitement is gone, the struggle with writing the new year’s date on checks has begun and it’s 2 and a half more months till ice goes off the lakes. When you add all that to the fact that tax season has begun… well, January is just a bummer.

 

I told someone the other day if it weren’t for wishing my life away, I’d sure wish it was April. That thought though, also makes me wonder how many of God’s “today” blessings we actually miss because we’re striving toward and hoping for tomorrow? To that end God made this statement through the psalmist…

 

Psalm 46:10 (NASB)
10 "Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth."

 

Cease striving. What does that really mean? From early age we’re taught to look toward tomorrow. In school we’re told to study hard, get good grades so you can get into a good college. In college we’re told to focus, study hard and strive for a grade point average so we can get a good job. When we land that good job, we’re told to work hard and keep our nose to the grind stone so we can advance. When we advance, we’re then reminded to save more of our income so we can retire in comfort. And when we retire, we’re told to spend our retirement wisely, make it last for tomorrow. And finally, we’re told to look to tomorrow and make sure we have pre-planned funeral arrangements so we’re not a burden on our family. If it wasn’t so true it would be almost comical. Because in this process yesterday became today and today becomes lost in tomorrow’s tomorrows.

 

But, what about each individual day along the way? When God instructs us to “cease striving” He isn’t saying these goals are bad. He proclaiming that each day requires that we make the main thing the main thing, understanding that day by day He is God. Cease striving because, when we get so wrapped up in tomorrow, we lose sight of today. In doing so, we also lose sight of God’s “daily” blessings. And we have not only missed the blessing… we’ve lost the privilege of an encounter with God.

 

The hymn writer proclaimed count you many blessings name them one by one. Count your many blessings see what God has done, Count your blessings. Name them one by one. Count your many blessings see what God has done.

 

I believe God would say “Amen”, to those words and add “while it’s still today”.

Thank you for your faithfulness. Pastor Larry

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