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Saturday, April 16, 2005


Think with me for a moment what that word TIME means. What phrases come to mind?

Time keeps ticking away...

Time to make a change...

Never seems to be enough time to do the things I want to do...

All of those lines are from songs that ran through my head as I started typing. Not a surprise. God often speaks to me through a song. He also speaks when I take that weird word~ TIME~ and spend it with Him. Not just time to read my Bible and pray for people. Those are good, and even vital things to do, but for me they weren’t getting to the heart of my problem this week. What I was missing was time spent really listening to God.

You see, instead of listening, I've been thinking about time: The time I’ve been waiting for editors to get back to me about articles and novels. (They haven’t yet. I’d appreciate your prayers. :-) ) The time I’ve not spent writing when I know I’m supposed to be writing. And the time I’ve been eating instead of listening to the stuff going on in my heart. Add to that all the time I spend doing “things” with little to show at the end of the day for all the energy I’ve expended.

But in the back of my mind, I knew God was brewing something in my heart that just today He opened my eyes to see.

Funny how His timing is always perfect.

So, after a lot of wasted time this week brooding over what I wasn’t getting done, I looked up the word TIME on Merriam Webster. Here are some of the definitions I found:

"The measured or measurable period during which an action, process, or condition exists or continues." ex: The excruciating time it takes for an editor to respond to requested material.

"An opportune or suitable moment." ex: The time when a contract comes in the mail. Or doesn’t, as the case may be.

I thought these were funny: "A period of apprenticeship; a term of service; a prison sentence." Some days feel like that don’t they?

Here’s what I think of most when I think of the word TIME: "A moment, hour, day, or year as indicated by a clock or calendar."

Then, instead of listening to God, I contemplated (with self-contempt) that I have the same 24 hours a day as everyone else on this planet. Even Jesus when He walked here. How come I get so little done when others are doing so much?

The Lord, in His mercy, stopped my downward spiral of negative self-talk. But first He had to show me what I’d really been thinking (and trying to ignore that I was feeling) this week. That hurt. In fact, after taking some time this morning to read a devotion in a wonderful book for writers called Write His Answer, the Lord brought me to tears.

The devotion was appropriately picked by God for this day. It was called “Keeping Fit” and discussed how eating right, exercising, and getting enough sleep are important disciplines that affect everything else I do. But what got me was the poem that talked about 1 Corinthians love for myself. Marlene Bagnull wrote:

“I must first love myself as God loves me;
Then I can love others as myself.
Love is being patient with me
When I am slow learning the lessons
The Lord would teach me.
Love is kind
It does not allow me
To compare myself to others,
To put myself down,
To punish myself for my mistakes.
Love means believing in the potential
God has placed within me
And trusting Him to bring about
My completeness in Him.”

Here I’ve been writing in this blog about spending time with God instead of hiding and learning to love yourself, and yet this past week, I’d forgotten those important lessons. Especially in regards to the time I waste thinking badly about myself.

Funny how it takes no time to forget what we so desperately need to remember.

It also takes no time for the Lord to reveal the truth when we take a few moments of time to listen.

After I read that devotion, the Lord twirled me away from the computer and plopped me on the floor with my battered teddy bear heart and a stuffed bunny in my arms and said, “Listen.”

When I finally stopped crying and confessing all the ways I know I failed this week, the Lord revealed what was going on in my heart. I’ve been believing this week that I’m a failure~ with my body, because I still have more weight to lose and even though I’m doing push-ups, I’m not pushing away the extra food. And with my writing, I’ve believed I’m a failure because my writing isn’t getting the attention I had hoped it would be by now. Strange how this comes just after my first story was published.

After that, God spoke to my heart. He spoke again the words He whispered to my heart when He began the painful process of cleaning out the heart messages and lies I’ve lived by for so long. He said, “You are my beloved child, in whom I am well pleased.” He added, “I have a good plan for you, Amy. Trust Me.”

Then, as I spent some more time crying and praying and praising Him, He spoke to me through the verse He had given me seven months ago about my writing. 2 Timothy 1:9 (written and posted by my computer) says, “Father, You have saved me and called me with a holy calling, not according to my works, but according to Your own purpose and grace which You granted me in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time.”

Certain words jumped out at me. TIME being a big one. God, in His infinite wisdom and love, decided the good works He would accomplish through me (Eph 2:10), His holy calling, according to His purpose and IN HIS TIME. All BEFORE THE BEGINNING OF TIME. My work according to John 6:29 is this: “Jesus answered, ‘The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.’”

My work is not to run away from my feelings or what’s happening in my heart. It’s not to worry and stress about TIME and what I am or am not doing with it. It’s not even to run after good things to do for God.

My work is to sit and listen. Like Mary. To hang out with Him, wrapped in His arms, and listen to the Truth.

And believe.

Will you join me? It will be TIME well spent.

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