“The Lord can cause you to slow down—so you can discern His best blessings in disguise.”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – March 10, 2021
Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil…Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him. Matthew 4:1,11
I have not enjoyed all the lessons I have been trying to learn over the past 12 months of the global pandemic. It started with two grand babies born in March, 2020—because of the quarantine Pop and Bibi were locked down and unable to see and love on Samuel and Emerson. The loss of being able to be with our little ones flooded our impatience with the process—and with each other. We had to remind ourselves we were not the culprits of our grieving condition. In the fall we lost my mother-in-law to an inoperable brain hemorrhage. Her funeral was at the farm with just family—all Covid cautious. We still miss her joyful energy and loving life. We still shed many tears for the one whose tears have been wiped away. And then job changes for all four sons-in-laws. You talk about stress, even good transitions are hard. I am learning to accept God’s wise preparations.
Speaking of preparation, Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness for 40 days to be tempted by the devil in preparation for His lifetime of ministry. Of course, the Lord did not fall to the enemy’s lies and deceptions, but instead reminded Satan of the truth of Scripture and the place of worship reserved only for God. Physically weak, emotionally stressed, but spiritually resilient—He met His trials, tests and temptations by leaning into the Spirit’s support and His Father’s emissary of angels who attended to His needs. Kingdom preparation for living comes with a cost, but in the process grows durable faithfulness. Lessons learned in hard times serve us in good times.
“We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love” (Romans 5:3-5, NLT).
Are you leaning into or resisting the Lord preparing you for kingdom living? Maybe the valuable lesson of being more attentive to your family’s needs will serve you well as you experience together kingdom living. Or, the wisdom of maintaining financial margin, so when the unexpected happens you have the needed resources to navigate through the economic storm. And maybe most importantly, learning to be still in solitude, so your soul can catch up with your active life. The Lord can cause you to slow down—so you can discern His blessings in disguise. Less work travel—more shared family memories. Less busyness—more real accomplishments. Preparation for kingdom living happens in life’s deserts, so we appreciate life’s best blessings.
I want to look back on this life pause and see it more as a reset than a pause. A better way to do life with more meaning, relational investments and eternal significance. To cherish my wife by being genuinely empathetic for her losses in life. To calendar time with the grandchildren so I can beam our flashlights into the dark while we scour the fence line for the glowing green eyes of a predator. And in the process, talk about how they are a light for Christ’s love. To be available for my sons-in-law and those I work with to help them follow God’s will and solve problems. Our kingdom preparation never ends until His kingdom comes—in the meantime, let’s be ready!
“He [Jesus] may come in the middle of the night or just before dawn. But whenever he comes, he will reward the servants who are ready” (Luke 12:38, NLT).
Heavenly Father, help me daily prepare for your kingdom agenda, through Christ’s love and in His name I pray, amen.
Coming out of this global pandemic, what lessons does the Lord want me to take with me in preparation for kingdom living?
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