This Thanksgiving, I went to the movies after all the eating (So.Many.Mashed.Potatoes…and pie, we can’t forget the pie.) was over with some of my church family. Before the movie started they played that opening scene that is at every movie, you know the one where you’re kind of racing over a film reel like you’re on a roller coaster and there's popcorn and candy everywhere? Most of us just sit there and watch it or wait for it to be over..but not my friend Lilly. Lilly is 8 years old and instead of just sitting there watching it, she got excited! She said “Are you ready?” and put her hands up in the air as if she was really on a roller coaster. I got to thinking about how much that little picture of a girl getting excited about something she’s probably seen countless times while the rest of us just sit and watch relates to our attitude towards God…and what it should be.
In both Luke 2:19 (after the birth of Jesus) and Luke 2:51 (after 12 year old Jesus was found at the temple with teachers, asking questions) the bible says, “But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.” Just think about that for a moment…Mary treasured. She didn't simply think about what happened and kept going. She stopped and she treasured thoughts of Jesus being born, and what Jesus was beginning to do.
How often do we (I include myself in this) read the bible, or hear stories of how God has worked in people’s lives, and simply keep going on about our life? How often are we forgetting to treasure these thoughts, to be in absolute awe of God and the wonders of Him? How often are we letting the pressures and distractions of every day life keep us from coming closer to God? Stress over money, jobs, relationships, health, and so much more have the tendency to overtake our mind and there is no room for awe and wonder when we focus on those things.
Hebrews 12:1-3 (NIV) says Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
Let us throw off that which is hindering us.
Let us throw off worry, let us throw off pain, let us throw off distractions, and let us run, fixing our eyes not on what is trying to steal our attention but Jesus.
In Matthew Jesus teaches the Sermon on the Mount, and he gives a whole section to the topic of worry. Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:25-34 (NIV)
Jesus is instructing us not to worry about the things of this world, but to seek the kingdom. I have begun praying over myself every day that I won’t let this world overtake the awe I have for Jesus, and that instead of growing used to what he has done that I would continue to be amazed by Him. In the short time that I’ve been doing this I already feel so much closer to Him.
Ladies, let us strive to never reduce Jesus to a story in a book.
Let us strive to never become numb to the fact that He continually is working wonders.
Let us strive to be women who let the world grow dim when we fix our eyes on Jesus, wide eyed like children.
Let us be women who run with perseverance this race! (Just like Lilly asked me in the movie theater with her hands up, are you ready?)
We normally end with some scriptures for you, but this week we encourage you to not only read the scriptures below but listen to the song Wonder by Bethel Music. Worship God, and spend some time in prayer with God today.
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Many, LORD my God, are the wonders you have done, the things you planned for us. None can compare with you; were I to speak and tell of your deeds, they would be too many to declare. Psalm 40:5 (NIV)
One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple. Psalm 27:4 (NIV)