Finding encouragement today can often seem difficult for followers of Christ. It is easy to get caught up in the everyday business of life. Between work, family, and your relationship with Jesus Christ, it is tough. Did you catch that? The order I just wrote is backward. God came last and work came first. Honestly, work tends to thrust its way to the front all too often.
Work tends to make its way to the front because it is demanding, time-consuming, and a necessity in order to put food on the table. This is so twisted. But this is so realistic. Family is squeezed in the middle because it is valuable to us, we just have to work to ensure it remains a daily priority. God is often last on our list of things to do. I don’t believe, as Christians, we do this with evil intent. I believe as fallen humans we simply fail to draw close to God first. Work won’t wait, family in a sense won’t wait, but God, He can always wait. Why do we do this? Because we know He will always be there. The only good answer I have is because we are sinful we often fail to draw close to God.
This can do two things. We can receive this and be discouraged from our failure to prioritize God in our daily lives. Or we can accept it and begin to dwell on the magnificent characteristics of a mighty God. It isn't my intent to bring condemnation. Instead, maybe if we begin to choose to reflect on the magnificence of our God instead of the depravity of our flesh, we will draw closer to Him.
The reality is, we are sinners. Even as followers of Christ we tend to drift (Hebrews 2:1). Everything in our daily lives seems so demanding. It's not that they are bad things. Work and family are two areas of life that God encourages us to invest in and work hard at. But through it all, God is patient with us. Patience is a characteristic of God (Numbers 14:18). God doesn’t need us, rather He wants us.
In the midst of our misprioritizations, we can look at God's Word and draw wisdom and guidance from it.
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light (Matthew 11:28-30).
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of suffering (1 Peter 5:6-9).
As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:38-42).
May the Holy Spirit help us realize the fallenness of our human condition and draw closer to the Creator of the universe by relying upon the blood of His Son, Jesus Christ, as the means of our salvation.