Waste some time with God

I hope everyone is enjoying the last of the series of public holidays at the moment. For me, the extra time off has meant added pressure at work and tighter deadlines to meet. This past Sunday, Costa encouraged us to “waste some time with God”. Shew, what a challenge that is to me when time feels so short already! It made me think again over the gift of freedom that Christ has won for us and the extent to which my life is reflecting the fruit of that freedom.  Isaiah 53:5 clarifies for us what God intended this freedom to bring us:
 “…he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.”

Peace. Healing. On Sundays I feel a lot of that; His peace and presence and healing are so tangible. But then the steam train that is Monday morning rolls around and I end up trying to live life at the pace that my smartphone and other devices and social pressures around me say that I should be able to. Can anyone relate? While much of that activity is good, I truly believe God is fundamentally more invested in who we are becoming than what we are doing. Or at least that these two concepts are held in the right priority – I first become who God intends and then, in His will and timing, do the good works He has set for me.
“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10.)

I think that this holds for us both individually on our journey with Christ but also as a Mercy family seeking to build a church for Mondays. Who are we becoming? And then, what are we doing?
On the surface and in the short term, a “flurry of hurry” looks really productive and achieves a lot. But is it freedom? Granted, everyone has busy periods of life, but what would it look like to live my narrative out over your whole life? I was told a story recently about a woman with advanced dementia who was being cared for in a frail care facility. Despite all her physical and material needs being cared for, the woman would wake up every day frantic and when asked what was upsetting her, she’d explain that she had her entire house to clean and she needed to get it done! This story sparked an awful flash forward moment as I imaged what my narrative at that stage of life might be… panic about getting my inbox cleared and my to do list resolved! How awful!

This is not the freedom God has intended for us. Jesus tells me that when I am weary and tired, I should not try harder and work longer hours to get it done right. Rather He says, “Come to me and I will give you rest.” The Message translation puts it so beautifully, “Come and learn the unforced rhythms of grace.” He is so good to us. So why are we not free? John 8 verse 32 reminds us that the truth shall set us free. What is the truth? God gave us everything we need in Jesus. Jesus is the light of the world, He is the Way, the Truth and the Life.

I don’t know your situation but wherever you find yourself today, I feel that God would have us know and be encouraged that He does not condemn us as and where we are; as if we are wasting His gift of freedom. He is the God of the present but also of the process. There is no narrative He can’t break, no lie He won’t overcome, no need He cannot provide for. So as individuals and as a Mercy family, let’s be encouraged that God’s freedom isn’t just for Sundays, it is available to us 24/7 and He is able to provide all we need to choose and walk in that freedom. This week, despite the work catch up load, I’m choosing to waste time with God; prioritizing following Him over other competing needs and obligations. Will you join me?

Have a wonderful week!
Mhairi x

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