It can be easy to think that the work we do earns us right standing with God. It is even fair to think this way, as in this world, working earns us money and status. Working is a requirement of this world to have most things. However, this is not so for our eternal life. The only work we need to do is to surrender to the one that has done everything already. We must slow down to surrender. In our surrendering we give Him the recognition for all that our life is and becomes. This is the purpose of our lives and in that we find an endless supply of joy. Unfortunately, because the world seems to glorify over working behavior, surrender can feel hard. We can make it easier on ourselves by not trying to take on all the world throws our way at once, rather we can take things one at a time.
Ephesians 2:7-10 NIV
We must never forget that Christ has walked in our shoes. He has weathered our experiences of temptation. In staying present in today and taking life at a slower pace we are able to surrender what we must in order to release our pride and ask for help. Temptation surrounds us. The temptation to get caught up in the hurry of the world is tempting because we do not want to get left behind. To walk a slower paced life of surrender means that our dependence on God must be moment to moment. This includes accepting His grace and mercy when we fall short. Which we inevitably will. We can be too hard on ourselves. This is what can make slowing down so hard. Understanding that we need to depend on God for guidance, but recognize that we are not perfect and His grace is sufficient for us is what we must hold onto as we endeavor into all the things we do.
Hebrews 4:14-16 NIV
Considerations for your planner:
- How are you slowing down your life today? Take a look at your planner and invite God into the spaces that you know He is not a part of.
- What about slowing down is most difficult for you? Write it out. Put it in your planner daily until this practice loses its difficulty.
A Story of Slowing Down When it's Hard:
I have a long testimony, but I’ll keep it short. I was born in a Christian family. I had 2 older sisters. I had a tough childhood. Nothing was particularly wrong with our family. We were a good happy family, but I used to overthink a lot. I ended up being unhappy. I used to seek happiness by trying to fill ‘the void’ with other people. I used to self harm myself if that didn’t happen. That’s just how I grew up.
When I was 17, I got into a relationship. I got everything that I ever wanted, or at least what I thought I wanted. Unfortunately, I was still empty and the relationship started becoming toxic. According to me it was too late to break it off. Fast forward to when I turned 19, I was in an accident in which I lost my mother and my sister. My world was shattered. I was in pain. I was badly injured and I had to go through my physical pain as well as mental pain. Other family pressures from our relatives didn’t help matters. I wanted to end my life, because I couldn’t bear the pain. Every night I’d cry. In the mornings I’d contemplate on how to end it. I used to challenge God and tell Him, “If I choose to live, I’ll do it without Him.”
Things got worse. And that’s when I cried out to God and told Him I couldn’t bear the pain. I decided to recommit my life to Christ. I found Christ amidst all this chaos. Things did not get easier, but God taught me so many things through all of it. He taught me how meaningless all these things that we strive for and live for are. When we step into eternity the only thing we will have is what we have gained in Christ and not the temporary things of this world which will belong to someone else when I die.
Strengthen the Christian Planner Family by sharing your experiences. We'd love to hear a story about God's work in your life. Use the form linked below to submit your story.