by Pastor Tim Burt
To say it’s been busy for me in my life right now would be an understatement. It’s been a busy year at church. We have made some cutbacks in staffing and spending at church to keep the church finances on track and in a good place. Our staff all works hard to do more with less. (If only our government could learn that!) Anyway, it’s led to us all being busier than we previously were. It was our plan to cut back on some programs and services that we do, our staff is so conscientious that I think most instead just tried to buck it up and do more. God bless them all!
So anyway, I am presently in this very busy stretch. I can usually keep up with what is on my plate but recently, there have been some family crisis situations of a few people at church that have needed much attention. We want to be there to help in those times and I believe we are and do a great job. But, after a while, it can all add up and try to wear you down.
I woke up in the middle of the night last night and found myself thinking about a person in our church that is in a very difficult situation. I was trying to walk out some helpful solutions in my mind. The problem was, they weren’t easy solutions and would take a great deal of my time – time I didn’t have to give. I didn’t know what I was going to do so I laid in bed and prayed. That was a good thing because I know last night was one of those nights the Lord woke me up to pray. He didn’t wake me up to lay there and worry. I can tell when the Lord wakes me up because I am instantly wide awake and not tired. When this happens, I also know the grace of God will be with me to get me through the day (from the lack of sleep.)
When I was a young Christian, I was misguided thinking that worrying for others was sacred or compassionate. I know I got that from my mother. She worried about everyone thinking it was a godly thing to do. But, it’s not! It is a worthless way to spend time.1 Peter 5:7 says, “Cast all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about what happens to you.” Do you know why God wants us to lay our worries at His feet? Because cares and worries will kill you! They’ll create stress and destroy your health. You were designed by God to lean on Him and have faith in Him - not worry! I am not saying you shouldn’t have compassion. That is a beautiful thing. But the most fruitful thing we can do when we are tempted to worry about our situations or someone else’s, is intercede and ask the Lord to help. We should always do what we can to help others, but there are many times where we are confronted with our limitations. We do our part and we pray to God to work in behalf of those we love. That is His plan and idea not ours! We just need to follow it. If you will sincerely pray for others, it doesn’t mean you don’t take action to help in some way, but nothing you do will compare to your heartfelt prayers.
When Mordecai confronted Ester about her part to help save the Jews, she knew she had a plan to execute but knew the prayer part was the most important. Esther 4:16 "Go and gather together all the Jews of Susa and fast for me…" We see the exhortation in James 5:16 that says, “…pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and wonderful results.” And Philip. 4:6-7 says “Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. If you do this, you will experience God's peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. “
I woke up in the middle of the night. The devil would have loved it if I would have wasted the time laying there worrying while losing precious sleep. It wasn’t going to happen. I finally finished praying about 6:00am. I’ll still try to see what I can do to help this person with their situation, But what I have great confidence in, is that the Lord has heard my prayers and is working behind the scenes in the way He always does. His love for this person far exceeds anything I feel and His ability far exceeds anything I could think of or do. So, I didn’t lose sleep last night. I sacrificed it for prayer and blessing for this person. She will be helped and God will be glorified!
Matthew 6:27 (NLT) “Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? Of course not.”
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
Published by Pastor Tim Burt
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