Thursday, May 29, 2008
Making Time For the Lord
Fresh Manna 2008© by Pastor Tim Burt
“Matthew 6:26 “Look at the birds. They don't need to plant or harvest or put food in barns because your heavenly Father feeds them. And you are far more valuable to him than they are”
Even though you are receiving Fresh Manna, Renee and I are actually on a week long get-a-way. We just aren’t getting away from God, the Word, or from writing to you!
We are in Northern Minnesota for a week of alone time together. As I look back over our lives, we have tried seriously hard to live our lives so that we would not look back with regrets. I think both of us feel we have very few. To the contrary, we have made some good choices that we feel God was leading us in, that have turned out to be absolutely right. One of those was, the prioritizing of “alone time” for her and I, and for her and I and the kids.
When we would read about Jesus taking time to get away and be with His Father to seek Him and pray, we knew it was the source of everything that was right in His life. Early in our marriage things were shaky. We were young and immature and created our own problems – learning far too many things the hard way. But occasionally we’d do something that was very right. Making the choice to imitate Jesus and make times to get away and be alone with God and each other was one of those choices. Our lives were always so busy ministering to others, we knew we needed to create pockets of “alone time” with each other and God. When we had children, it became “alone times with each other” and “alone times with the children.”
It wasn’t like we had a lot of money and took big vacations. To the contrary, we would scrape and save and look for bargains in hotels or resorts, and eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. But, we’d learn to plan away times. We’d simply put them before the Lord in prayer to supernaturally provide and then trust that He would lead us into special get-a-ways that we could some how afford to do.
We’d purpose to make them times where we put God first each day. We’d expand our Bible time to talk, share, laugh, pray, and just appreciate the Lord’s goodness in our lives. From there, we would ask God to bless and direct our steps into great and special fun plans that didn’t cost money but that some how we would see His hand upon.
One time we were standing along the North Shore looking out on Lake Superior. Our car was parked across the street in a little off road parking lot. We had all the kids with us who were young at the time. We loved to go on short hikes they could handle especially looking for waterfalls. As we came back to our car, an elderly gentleman that we had bumped into and met the day before must have spotted us. He put a note on our windshield. He told us exactly where to go for a special hike ending up by waterfalls. We followed his directions and had a spectacular hike. We knew that was a gift from the Lord. We’d see rainbows, a moose, skip rocks – so many wonderful things that made us appreciate God’s splendor. Those quiet times alone with God and each other and with the children strengthened us in our marriage and as a family in ways that would be difficult to describe.
This week we are up by a lake on a get-a-way at a beautiful resort called Sugar Lake Lodge in Grand Rapids, Mn - again the hand of God because it was given to us as a gift. Yesterday morning I was up early and walked down to the lake standing on a dock with a cup of coffee. The air was crisp and cool. The sky was as blue as the sky can get. The lake looked like a mirror. There were two beautiful loons close to me hunting their breakfast. There was an eagle perched on a boat canopy a short distance away. The morning moon was hanging on one side of the sky with the sunrise on the other. The beauty of God’s artistry was overwhelming.
It was at this moment that I again began to sing to Him in praise and then tell Him how thankful I was for all these kinds of moments He provided for Renee and I over the years. Throughout all the years, we just purposed to get away and spend time together and with the Lord to be strengthened in our love for each other. God always made a way for special opportunities to walk them out. As I was standing on that dock, I began to think about “how we could do this again in the future.” You know how men are – always trying to figure out the path ahead. At that moment, I heard that still small voice – like a whisper - as clear as if it were audible.. “Just trust me like you always have.” “We have tried to always trust God but we are like anyone else. We’d just like to arrange and do things ourselves in our own strength. Those times never seem as good. What God provides always seems so much better. Why do we fight that? Why do we fight trusting God? It is such a great adventure when we do. He does love us!
As today’s Fresh Manna says, “Matthew 6:26 “Look at the birds. They don't need to plant or harvest or put food in barns because your heavenly Father feeds them. And you are far more valuable to him than they are.”
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2008 Tim Burt, All rights reserved.