I didn’t want to do anything. Well, I take that back. I didn’t want to do any of the things I needed to do. Curling up on the couch with some knitting and an episode or two of Doctor Who might have been fun. Or snatching one of those novels I’ve been wanting to read for a while. Sitting down at the sewing machine to make that apron I’ve been wanting for a while. What about a nap? Oh yeah, I could have gone for a nap.
With a sigh I admitted that none of those were possible, so I determined to focus once again on what I needed to get accomplished. My will, other the hand, had no such determination. Do you know how hard it is to get your brain and body to accomplish something when your will has no interest? I’m here to tell you that it’s nigh unto impossible! First, desire to be productive flees. Then, in its place, cravings began to creep in. If I wasn’t going to stop and knit or read or sleep, I might as well eat, right? I could snag a few almonds and a bit of dark chocolate, but that just didn’t seem to appeal to my craving. Chips and dip. A big bowl of popcorn. Better yet, frozen cookie dough. (Yes, I’m the bad girl who eats dough containing raw eggs. I’m awful, I know.)
Half crazed, I cried out in despair, “Lord, help me!”
Abide in Me.
Random thoughts frequently pop into my mind when I attempt to pray, but when those “random” thoughts come straight from God’s Word, I know the Holy Spirit is speaking.
Abide in Me.
I never sat back down for my prayer time this morning, did I Lord? I read Your Word, but I didn’t stop to just pray, preparing my heart to listen to You throughout the day.
I’d love to say that I stopped right then to just abide. But I can’t. Because I didn’t. I tried to do some church class preparation. I checked email. I stared at a blank computer screen, hoping for writing inspiration. I glanced at Facebook. I read a couple of blog posts. I checked my to-do list, hoping to find something appealing there. Finally, nibbling on some of that evil cookie dough (yes, I caved in) I picked up my prayer binder, curled up on a pile of bean bags in the library, and determined to pray.
I will not say the prayers came easily. My focus had been off most of the day, and here it was 4:00 in the afternoon. Redirection is not a simple task. But, I was desperate. I picked up some knitting, knowing my mind would be less inclined to wander if my hands were busy. And I prayed.
By the time I finished, little time remained for working down the to-do list. I had to get ready for our mid-week church service. I finished up a class plan, took care of a couple of quick tasks, and prepared to usher the kids out the door. I thought about kicking myself for waiting so long to pray, but instead I rested in thankfulness for the fact that the Lord Jesus Christ communed with me readily even though I’d made Him wait all day.
Abide in Me.
Sometimes I think I have this abiding thing figured out. I feel motivated, strong, and focused. Then I come crashing back down to reality. There’s a reason this life is referred to in war terms. Battles are not neat, tidy, and expected. Skirmishes pop up here and there. Surprise attacks occur out of nowhere. Only rarely do we see the enemy coming, and even then we often have no idea how he will attack. The only way we can be prepared is by abiding in the Victor every single moment of every single day.
Just because yesterday went beautifully does not mean today will. A peaceful morning holds no promise for the afternoon. A precious quiet time before the young’uns arise does not guarantee a delightful rise and shine experience. Abide in Me does not happen once and then carry over. It must happen every moment. Every single moment.
So, right now, I will abide. Five minutes from now I’ll have to choose to abide all over again. And when I’m tempted to grab a knife and the roll of cookie dough tomorrow, I’ll have to refocus once again. But I have a smile on my face as I rest in the peace of how it feels to be abiding right now. I intend to focus on that, and let the next “right now” deal with itself when it comes around.