Thursday, September 8, 2011

Step By Step

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A Devotional by
Margot Cioccio

Psalm 139     
O Lord you have searched me and know me...

I am sitting here this morning in my favorite chair, where I like to meet with God. I have been talking to God about how my life seems to be spinning at a rate that makes me feel like I am trying to balance on a rubber ball, while trying to keep plates spinning on poles and I am trying to herd cats.  The stress of the busier fall season is making me wonder if I've taken on too much. Do I need to thin some things down or is it just that things are compounded in their demands because everything is in start up mode. I think it is the later, but I realized I have been struggling to find a new balance in it all.

As I am sitting here thinking about this season and what I am doing during it. The words to Psalm 139 come drifting through my thoughts. I will have to go and find what Psalm it is using my concordance. These words have been at some point hidden in my heart and God is bringing them up for me to remember in this moment. "Oh Lord you have searched me and you know me… You know when I sit and when I rise…You perceive my thoughts from afar."  Then I will go and find the rest of it and allow the Lord to speak to me through it. It is one of the ways God speaks to me in the quiet of the morning as I sit here in my favorite chair with my cup of coffee and a faithful dog by my side. 

God is saying to me through this that He knows my thoughts and my ways. I love verse four that says "Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, Oh Lord." During my day He is stirring my thoughts as I drive here and there shuttling kids or running errands. I am thinking about devotional posts that I want to write. He knows my thoughts completely. He knows how He wired me and He knows all the stuff I think I have to do.  It is now later in the day and I am typing what I wrote in my note book earlier today while waiting for kids during piano lessons.  Thank you Lord for my new lap top - help me find the time to get it fully functional.

Verse five is a comfort to me in this busy season.  "You hem me in - behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me."  The Lord has set the boundaries for me. So in that moment as I read that verse. I think " Lord help me know what things to say yes to and what things to say no. Just because something comes my way does not necessarily mean that it is mine to take on. Help me to do the things that are mine to do and not do things that others are needing to step up and do.
My conversations with God run like this through out my day. I know today will be busy, Lord. Help me to not take on the added burden of worrying  about how I will manage it all. Lead me through it by your Holy Spirit. Help me not be so preoccupied by the busyness that I miss the people around me and in my day that you want me to touch.

I am hoping in this post to help you by opening up what some of my walk with the Lord looks like as I struggle with the busyness of my life currently. I hope it helps you and perhaps stirs your thoughts to how you may practice the presence of Jesus through out your day.

My prayer and conversation with God goes on: Lord I  know I am still on the leading edge of what you want me to do with this devotional. Its a massive step of faith for me to keep up with writing it daily. To believe that what you have put in me will build up your bride. My sense is that this project is far bigger than I even begin to understand. Who am I to know who it will touch and how it may effect some life. I hope it is like a stone tossed in a pond and the ripples go out far beyond anything I can begin to imagine. For me it is an act of faith and obedience, what God does with it is really not my job in this. So Lord, I leave the outcomes in peoples lives in your hands.

Then there are some things I see to be needs on the horizon and I talk to God about those. Lord, I could use people who would partner with me in this and be praying for me to write things that will help, inspire, challenge believers to grow deeper in their relationship with you.  People who would be praying for the people who are reading that their lives would be touched and changed.
Lord I could use people who would help spread the word about this devotional by using the buttons bellow the posts to pass it along to their friends.  I know this thing you are doing is far bigger than me, there are others who are supposed to help in ways at this point I can hardly imagine.

I allow myself to dream a little - Lord it would be so cool if there was a on-line prayer and encouragement area attached to the devotional site. With moderators and prayer warriors and encourager who would be there when people need some support. 
Lord there are resources and materials that I know I am supposed to create and make available here and on my coaching site. I know at some point the next big step of faith is to be ready to go out and speak. I think there is a new album of my songs that needs recorded. Lord I don't know how to get from where I am today to this bigger thing that I see glimpses of. I know you do and I will trust that you will lead me and order my steps according to your plan. That you will cause the others who you are calling to this to somehow find me and let me know they want to help.

Then I look at it all and I feel small and overwhelmed. Then the following verses come flooding into my mind and I am humbled, and grateful.

"He who began a good work in you is faithful to complete it."

"For I know the plans I have for you says the Lord, plans for good and not for evil. Plans to give you a hope and a future".

"For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose." 

I know the Holy Spirit is with me. Step by step, moment by moment. I trust that God knows my strengths and my weakness. That He is able - and He will give me everything I need to do what He is calling me to do.

I hope my transparency helps you today.
Where do I go when life seems to be spinning out of control - to the feet of Jesus.
Where do I go when I feel discouraged - to the arms of Jesus.
Where do I go when I feel inadequate and small  - to Jesus
Jesus is my center. It is in his abiding presence that I find peace. It is in Him that I find the next step, that I find strength to carry on.
I hope if you get nothing else from my writing, that it will lead you to grab a hold of the hem of Jesus garment. That you will take the things you are facing to the feet of Jesus.  That you will be inspired to meet him there. It is from His abiding presence and that relationship that lasting fruit grows in our lives.   I hope you will make time in your day to meet with the lover of your soul.

Its now late at night and I need to set this to post. My day today was much better than the last few have been. I did not feel so stressed by the pace. God ordered my steps and helped me to get things done. I did not carry the weight of worry or the stress of the business. Step by step God was with me, loving and leading. The big difference was that I acknowleged that I needed His help.

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