As each day draws to a close, my body begins to exhale as my mind starts to engage. While others pine for long summer days, this night owl welcomes the quiet after winter’s dwindling daylight hours.
With slivers of time left, a good evening means jumping into my PJs after a longer-than-usual shower and squirreling some time away to write, read and email a bit.
Many times, though, life happens. I end up so tired, I have just enough energy to veg out in front of the boob tube, before pulling the covers under my chin.
Oh, great. Another day of doing “nothing”! I’d lament, lying in the dark. If only there were more hours in a day…
Those are the days I feel like I was nothing, frustrated with the lack of time.
The Problem Of Time
Over the years, God has given me glimpses of who He wants me to become. The specifics are pretty fuzzy, but they are passions that God’s tucked away in my heart.
How do I get from where I am to where God wants me to be?
In an attempt to get myself there sooner than later, I recently tried to solve the problem of time — by depriving myself of sleep.
Instead of resting to cure my restlessness, I stayed up too late into the night, trying to get more done, to further myself in God’s plans.
I tried to accomplish only what God can do: fulfill His plan for my life.
In my fervor, I turned to my ability to produce.
Like a project at work, I set my sights on doing something for God, rather than allowing God to do something through me.
I became a walking zombie, tiredly limping along, preoccupied and unfulfilled with my days. Poor Hubby got the leftovers and clutter took over the house.
Thankfully, God stopped me in my tracks and brought me back to my senses.
God paid no attention to my discouragement. Smiling confidently, He gave me a picture, to see me through my time-limited days.
“What is it?” was the name that the Israelites gave to this daily bread that fell down from heaven.
What is it? I echo, as I look at my days. My days sure don’t seem to add up to much.
“This is what the LORD has commanded, ‘Gather of it every man as much as he should eat…
… some gathered much and some little.
When they measured it with an omer, he who had gathered much had no excess, and he who had gathered little had no lack.“
It was a wake up call. Whether I gathered a little or a lot, God will still bless me in the end.
His provision for me is not given according to my efforts, but through what God has already determined.
The Joy Of Belief
We are so conditioned to think that we can do anything on our own — the blessing of manna is mind-boggling.
I don’t understand how God is doing it, but He is making something meaningful out of our lives.
It turns out my problem isn’t with time, but belief. Out of our ordinary days, God calls us to trust and believe: He will fulfill His purpose in us.
Just as Christ walked by faith in the backdrop of daily life for thirty-three years, He calls me to do the same.
As I prioritize coming to Him daily, I rediscover the joy of being captive to God’s work: changing me. One day at a time.
I’m returning to lazy evenings. I plop down next to Hubby to watch a flick, with a scoop of yummy sherbet and fresh berries, along with a smile of joy.
“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13Leave a Comment
Shaunie Friday says
I really love this Bonnie! It speaks to me in so many ways–my time is not my own these days for a host of reasons and I’m struggling to adjust to a new schedule, not of my own choosing. It feels like the new demands on my time are working against everything I’ve always valued, and yet, as your post reminds me, time is like manna–given each day, just what I need, and it is a miraculous gift from God. He is not surprised by my current situation or the new schedule, and He can be trusted to help it be enough–to help me be enough as I rely on His enabling for what each day requires. I too am a night owl who tries to make up for what daylight would not allow by staying up into the wee hours and then go zombie-like and brittle through the next day. Thank you for sharing your wise insight and your well-placed confidence in the Holy Spirit’s provision of hope for “wee hours girls” like me.
Kristen - Moms Sharpening Moms says
Beautifully said, Bonnie! This post encourages me to slow down and listen for His direction on my day and in my life! Thanks so much for writing this!
What an encouragement! Thanks for this post – I really needed to hear it today, as I stumble to the coffee cup haha 🙂 thanks again!
I LOVE this post. Beautifully put…
What a great post as we approach this New Year! Thank you for sharing you heart this morning with us.
I love the assurance from God that nothing — NOTHING — is small or insignificant if it is done for Him. Even the ordinary is made extraordinary through the Lord.
May you taste manna on your lips in 2010, friend. You’re a blessing.
Twinkle Mom @ Sunflower Faith says
That is too true and as a parent I can relate one hundred percent; It took God really convicting my heart through an amazing sermon that my pastor shared that sometimes, just the “everyday” is being “In service to Him” and that has become my heart motto.
I remember feeling bad I couldn’t attend a bible study that the local women ministry was having but the sermon woke me up and realize…sometimes, where God calls us, is in our own home or backyard and not at church or online or wherever, we think He needs us.
Where He really needs us is where HE decides He needs us and not us, and when we stop deciding for Him and just thinking itself, “Whatever I do, I do In Service to Him”…it definetely changes perspective and brings us closer to Him, rather trying to bring Him into our lives.
I needed to read this post several months ago, lol, but I feel that this is a reminder to me, to all of us, what to remember going into the New Year. Running ourselves tired doesn’t help serving our Heavenly Father or our family or our growth.
Thank you Thank you Thank you for this timely post!
I’ve learned that the best assurance of me actually accomplishing what needs to be done is to make sure that the first fruits of my day belong to Him. After that, everything falls into place and the things that don’t matter fall away. And I’d say that the time we spend in the evenings just vegging with our loved ones is of the utmost importance! 😉
Bonnie, what a sweet post of encouragement this is! I love the story of God’s provision of the manna; only enough for each day. For me, I know I need to come to Him daily. When I work in my own power I can spend many needless hours wasting time. But when He works in me what He has purposed for me, what a difference it makes.
May He refresh us daily. I pray that He will bless you in whatever He calls you to do. I know you bless me with your writings now. So thank you for that.
I’m loving this (in)courage site!
You taught me something new, Bonnie. I didn’t know that was the literal meaning of “manna” – and it speaks volumes, doesn’t it. I am always wondering what this is that God has given me in the here and now, and I rarely feel that it is enough. Thank you for the reminder that He is.
So good, Bonnie! Oh how I’ve needed this. All month I needed it. Christmas beat me up (and the viruses that came along with Christmas.) It’s so silly how down I get about how little I’ve accomplished when I really have nothing to offer anyway except what Christ has done in me.
So much insecurity creeps in and works-based righteousness when we don’t REST. It’s like that for me anyway.
I’m so thankful you’re writing here. You are very good at what you do.
Heather Sunseri says
“changing me one day at a time.” I love small reminders that anything is possible with God and we must be patient because it doesn’t usually happen in an instant but over time with each day we work for and listen to Him.
We are THAT family says
Great post, Bonnie! Thank you for hitting the nail on the head for so many of us. So glad to have you a part of (in)Courage!
melissa @ the inspired room says
This is a lovely post and such sweet encouragement about all that really matters. Thank you, and welcome to (in)courage! Thrilled to learn and be inspired by your heart and words.
I have many of those days… Just longing to be home, to sit and relax. I plan to spend more time with God – to put Him first, then at the end of the day, I wonder, “What have I done today?” I feel I made no real contribution – nor have I put Him first. Oh how I pray that I would gather the manna – put Him first. I always love visiting your blog.
Jana - http://anaj.magcloud.com/ says
Bonnie I needed this today. It truly encouraged me, as I move forward with the vision God has placed in my heart. Thank you so much. May your your New Year be blessed beyond measure, In Jesus name, Amen.
Holley Gerth says
I’d never thought of manna this way before…and I won’t ever think of it the same way again. Thank you for the insight and sharing your beautiful heart with us!
Faith Barista Bonnie says
@Shaunie: Hi Shaunie! Thank you for sharing. It’s good to find I’m in good company, weaning from the wee hours. “Help me be enough as I rely on His enabling for what each day requires.” To “be enough” is a miraculous gift to not go “brittle” against the demands of time.
@Kristen: Slow + listen … those are two simple, but very precious commodities to bring to our souls. It’s what we really need.
@Becca: It’s what I needed in my cup of joe, too 😉
@katie: Thank you.
@Paige: Yes, the New Year is right at our doorstep. Blessings to you in the year ahead!
Faith Barista Bonnie says
@Jennifer: Thank you for keeping me company here — and, Jennifer, for this beautiful blessing. I receive it this morning and pray 2010 will be extra in the ordinary!
@TwinkleMom: “Where He really needs us is where HE decides.. and when we stop deciding for Him.” That is straight on. Stopping, yielding, going as He leads – thanks for pointing out these spiritual movements, important for our joy.
@Andrea: “The First Fruits” – Andrea, I really like that metaphor. This just re-affirmed me to put this of first importance in the coming year. And yes, my Hubby TOTALLY agrees, ending the day vegging out with our loved ones is of the utmost importance. Spending time is a love language.
@Debbie: “May He refresh us daily…” A beautiful prayer for our souls, you touched on, in contrast to my once sleepy, zombie days. Thank you for your blessing. I receive it with a smile.
@thegypsymama: The meaning of manna has become a touchstone of renewal for me.. and in my case, a guidepost to self-discipline, which I know I’ll be learning and practicing from this season forward.
Faith Barista Bonnie says
@Amber: I want to quote your whole comment! It’s all true, line by line. “So much insecurity creeps in and works-based righteousness when we don’t REST.” As I said to gypsymama, this manna is now my daily practice, the discipline of REST. So blessed by your daily transparency – it encourages me to share the journey. I’m so glad I found (In)Courage and you. Love, too.
@Heaher: Aw, my girl is here to give me a shout out.. and share your wonderful words. “Anything is possible with God… but over time with each day we work for and listen to Him” – that last part is rich part. Time, listening – the real, inner work no one sees.
@WeareTHATfamily: Kristen, thanks for the warm welcome. It’s mind-boggling neato that our paths crossed 2 years ago, to know cross here as sisters! Praise God for the light you shine, integrating mommyblogging and Christ.
@Melissa: Thank you for your sweet words here, Melissa. I’m looking forward to learn and be encouraged by the heart behind @theinspiredroom.
@Kristy: “I feel I made no contribution- nor have I put Him first…” I hope those days for me will grow fewer in the new days. Thanks for sharing your words when you visit the blog. It makes me happy to share time to visit together a comment at a time. 😉
Faith Barista Bonnie says
@Jana: Praise God! Gives me goosebumps knowing something that has encouraged me “truly” encouraged another. Thank you for your blessing! I receive it this morning!
@Holley: I, too, will never think of manna the same anymore. I was blessed to learn of it and it’s been an amazing blessing to share it here with you.
Robin ~ PENSIEVE says
“It turns out my problem isn’t with time, but belief.”
What a beautifully-woven piece, Bonnie; you’re a WONDERFUL addition to the (in)courage team, and I’d have to say you started with hitting one out of the ball park :).
My favorite line is the one I’ve copied here…because I share that sentiment. I pray as the father did in Christ’s parable, “Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief.”
I plead this at time, thankful the Lord knows my heart before I utter the words.
Thanks for sharing your faith and for making plain an extraordinary thought.
Michelle at Graceful says
Bonnie, This one really hit me hard. I am doing the exact same thing: staying up late, burning the candle at both ends, trying to accomplish more and more, trying to put the gifts God has graced me with to better and better use. But it’s not working! I’m tired, cranky, stressed, irritable, snippity with my kids and husband. Just plain worn out. Thanks for opening my eyes to the fact that I am going about it all the wrong way. I need rest. I need to put the plans into His hands; He knows what’s best. Thank you.
Thank you Bonnie. I needed to hear this – so very much.
cathleen johnson says
“His provision for me is not given according to my efforts, but through what God has already determined.”
Again, the Two of you have spoken to me. Thank you, Both, very much!
Faith Barista Bonnie says
@Robin: “Thankful the Lord knows my heart before I utter the words.” I’m thinking as I read this, that is why our hearts moves to Him, even as we draw to Him with unbelief. Like you, I circle back to this prayer — always feeling like it’s the first time.
@Michelle: Oh, yeah. I know it. It’s like the complete opposite affect. The more we try to strain forward, the more we go backwards. It’s very anti-intuitive to rest, when there is so much in us that pushes. But, God says it’s never too late.
@Linda: Thanks for sharing. Blessings!
@Cathleen: God is good. Blessings!
Lysa TerKeurst says
Thank you for this wonderful post Bonnie. I have written about and taught these Scriptures but what you pointed out was COMPLETELY FRESH! I love it when that happens.
What a blessing this was to me today. Thanks!!!