Thursday, August 7, 2008

Refinement through Busyness

I usually feel that God doesn't really want us to be 'busy', productive yes, busy no. I would normally say that busyness consumes us until a point that we typically can't hear God and so are spiritually cut off from our source. But I've been reflecting recently that God can actually use our busyness sometimes as a way of refining us.

This year has/is jam packed full of change and stuff to do for me. So far this year I have changed churches, been temporarily unemployed (then reemployed by same employer!), become a life group leader and gotten engaged. The rest of this year looks like this; moving this Saturday, classes resumed this week, possibly will be looking for work again in Sept when my contract ends, preparing for our wedding in December, working, studying, leading a lifegroup, other church commitments. Additionally my fiance is looking for work as he was made redundant a few weeks back.

I had thought that I would only do one subject this semester, but I got into classes this week and realised that the majority of my spiritual food actually comes out of my study not church. There is just something about getting deeper into the things of God that really really gets me spiritually amped. For some people great worship music makes them want to jump up and down, for me it exegeting Leviticus ;-)

So while I was quite prepared to cut back a bit and try to resist the encroachment of busyness I'm feeling this week much more like there is a point to my busyness at the moment. The whole year has felt like a time of refinement, and I believe God is using this crazy-busy time in that process of refining me. I am, where possible, trying to learn to say no to things that aren't essential. But I'm also learning that where my energy runs out, His energy is available to me. I felt that particularly today as I was sitting in my Exegesis class. Most students seemed a bit freaked by the prospect of Leviticus, but I felt elated, I felt that God's empowering grace is there for me to do this.

And I think that's part of what He's trying to teach me in this period of refinement, to stop relying on my own energy, my own strength, my own intelligence and startling good looks, not to mention humility LOL, but rather to rely on Him and His empowerment to do what He's called me to. And I think He's deliberately set the bar so high that I can't do it on my own.

I'm just praying that 2009 will be a year of peace and rest. I'm calling in the Deut 24:5 principle:
If a man has recently married, he must not be sent to war or have any other duty laid on him. For one year he is to be free to stay at home and bring happiness to the wife he has married.

God bless,


Edwin said...

The part about Bec's startling good looks is true...

katdish said...

God does not give us overcoming life: He gives us life as we overcome. The strain is the strength. If there is no strain, there is no strength. Are you asking God to give you life and liberty and joy? He cannot, unless you will accept the strain. Immediately you face the strain, you will get the strength. Overcome your own timidity and take the step, and God will give you to eat of the tree of life and you will get nourishment. If you spend yourself out physically, you become exhausted; but spend yourself spiritually, and you get more strength. God never gives strength for to-morrow, or for the next hour, but only for the strain of the minute. The temptation is to face difficulties from a common-sense standpoint. The saint is hilarious when he is crushed with difficulties because the thing is so ludicrously impossible to anyone but God.

-excerpt from "The Utmost for His Highest" by Oswald Chambers

Sounds like you're ahead of the curve on this concept. How refreshing to hear someone welcome the challenges of life rather than complain about them.

Louise New said...

Interesting reflections! Thanks for sharing them.

I hope that 2009 will be a more peaceful year for you.