Sunday, January 30, 2011

What Is God Telling You To Do Today?

Our pastor has been teaching out of Proverbs for the past few weeks and today's message was based on these verses:

Proverbs 24:30-34

I went past the field of a sluggard,
past the vineyard of someone who has no sense;
thorns had come up everywhere,
the ground was covered with weeds,
and the stone wall was in ruins.
I applied my heart to what I observed
and learned a lesson from what I saw:
A little sleep, a little slumber,
a little folding of the hands to rest—
and poverty will come on you like a thief
and scarcity like an armed man.

While the topic that he's teaching on is wealth and wisdom, I took away a "lesson" that pertained more to the overall way I live my life in addition to the financial aspect. We've all been given a "vineyard." That is, we've all been given our own lives. Our assigned duties. Our given jobs. Our families. Our talents. Our allotted time on this earth. Each of us is in exactly the spot that God knew that we would be in at this very moment. Something he said that really stuck with me is that this day and time is the only day and time that we are given to meet God where we are and take the next right step in our walk with Him. We don't have next year, or "when the kids are older" or even tomorrow as a guarantee.

The proverb talks about passing the vineyard of a sluggard (someone who has wasted time away-someone who is lazy and inattentive) and seeing the thorns and weeds that had grown up and the wall that had crumbled in ruins. I thought of my family. This is my vineyard. I've been given a husband and a home full of children to nurture and grow. They are my vineyard and if I choose to be inattentive (busied by unimportant things), I run the risk of the walls crumbling and thorns and weeds suffocating the harvest right out of my family.

So how do the thorns and weeds get in? Well, as the proverb warns, little by little. Little by little we fill our days full of tasks and responsibilities that often blur the big picture. When I had my first baby, I remember holding him for hours (literally). Just holding him, soaking up all of his cuteness and just being filled with joy in his presence. As we added kids to our family, while all equally loved, the load that came with each new one (5 kids in 6 years and one on the way:) slowly began to outweigh the joy that I felt with that first new bundle and "little by little" I stopped enjoying my role as the vineyard nurturer as much and just started "getting by." While I continued to love my children, the joy of mothering had faded into a list of duties and essentially, I was functioning like the sluggard who has no sense. Really, how much sense does it make to to "get it all done" and not enjoy the ones that you're doing "it all" for?

This past year has definitely been a learning process on many levels, but one of the most important things that I've realized is that if I do not depend solely on God for my strength and my guidance in nurturing the family that He has given me, then the job I have as a wife and mom of 5 (almost 6) kids is really an impossible one. Especially if I'm trying to do it well (which is the goal right?).

And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul? Matthew 16:26

If I am to keep my vineyard free of thorns and weeds, then I must first be free of them myself and I must be seeking God with my whole heart or the walls will eventually crumble. So now, when I feel the familiar feeling of being overwhelmed setting in, I know that I am guilty of relying on myself more than God. So often, I hear comments like, "I don't know how you do it" and I think, "I don't do it-I can't do it." If things are running smoothly in our home, then it is purely by the grace of God and His strength within me. If it's not going well-well then you know I need to spend some more time with God.

I've talked a lot on this blog about how God has used our adoption journeys to grow our hearts in ways we never dreamed and how He has shown Himself to be faithful and sufficient in meeting all of our needs. We have relied fully on Him during these times more than any other in our lives-I mean how else do explain the peace we had in making the decision to adopt one more after only being home for 7 months with the girls? It was us totally trusting God and saying YES when He called us to it.

Today at church, our pastor made the point that another reason why the "vineyard" goes down hill is because we put off the things that God is calling us to do TODAY. We don't say "yes" even when we know we should because we're afraid that WE can't do it right now (and the truth is, we can't unless we're relying on Him). We don't actually say, "I'm never going to do that." We just say, "Not yet" or "Now's not the time" or "I can't do that until...." Putting God's call off until we think it makes sense or until we are ready sets us up to miss out on the "daily bread" God has for us along the way.

We have all been given the opportunity of a lifetime. Each one of us has the opportunity to live out our lives in the freedom of God's will, walking down the path He has chosen for our lives. When we recognize each day as one more day to take a step towards God, instead of neglecting our vineyard and procrastinating God's call, we'll begin to experience and enjoy the blessings along the way.

What is God telling you to do TODAY?

For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11


  1. So amazingly written! Thank you so much for that post. I needed that so much. This is Brad's weekend to be on duty so I am flying solo with the kids for 2 weeks and it tends to feel more like a "job" than it should. I need those constant reminders to stay rooted in the Word.

  2. LOVE this entry Jessica. Thanks for writing it.

  3. This post is a huge blessing to me. We are trying to adopt again and I keep looking at all the huge obstacles in our way, get cold feet, and do nothing. Stop and start. Stop and start. It's bad! Thank you for your encouragement. I'm three weeks behind in reading blogs, but this is what I needed today. Thank you! :)