Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Mid-Week Message - Daily Frustrations

"Dear brothers and sisters, be patient as you wait for the Lord's return.  Consider the farmers who patiently wait for the rains in the fall and in the spring.  They eagerly look for the valuable harvest to ripen.  You, too, must be patient.  Take courage, for the coming of the Lord is near."  James 5:7-8 (NLT)  

Some days it seems as if nothing goes right.  Maybe the alarm clock fails to go off.  Maybe the car doesn't start.  Whatever can go wrong seems to go wrong.  Have you experienced days like that?  Of course you have.  We all do from time to time.  It makes life seem tedious and we find ourselves asking if there is anything to really look forward to or if everyday will be the same.  

Irritations and frustrations abound in this world.  We each have numerous demands made on our time and energies and sometimes we just want to hide for awhile.  There used to be a commercial for a popular bubble bath where a woman closes her bathroom door behind her and says, "Calgon, take me away!"  We eagerly await weekends and vacations so that we can get away from the feeling that every single moment is spoken for.  We want to rest our bodies and silence the constant reminders in our heads of things that have to be done.  We long for a time of peace.  

Patience can be difficult to achieve.  We become so agitated inside that we may just want to scream for everyone to leave us alone.  It doesn't seem like we will ever reach the stage when we can look back and enjoy a job well done because our to-do lists are long and constantly getting longer.  

Today's verse urges us to be patient but it also gives us guidance about where our focus should be.  All of the earthly tasks set before us are temporary.  What is urgent today will be history tomorrow.  It is our tendency to place more importance on earthly matters that fade away than we do on those that are eternal.  Jesus will come again.  Scripture has promised us that.  There will come a day where the only thing that will matter is our relationship with Him.  I wonder how it would change our outlook on life if we kept that as our utmost thought.  

There was a book entitled Don't Sweat the Small Stuff, written by Richard Carlson, that was published in 1997.  The point the book makes is that we let so many things cause stress that really are insignificant.  In Matthew 22:37-39, Jesus tells us what is most important. "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.'  This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'"  

What we choose to focus on has great influence over how stressed, frustrated and irritated we feel.  If we can look at the tasks before us as momentary challenges that will soon pass, and keep our eyes and minds on the Lord's promises and our eternal future in Heaven with Him, then we will not be as likely to find ourselves wanting to run away and hide.  Rather, we will want to share the Good News with those around us, and, as farmer's waiting for the rain for their crops, develop divine patience knowing that at any time we could hear the glorious hallelujahs of Christ's return.  God bless.  

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