As Thanksgiving finished up, and I started to seriously look ahead at the coming month. I immediately started to wonder how in the world we were going to get through December! It’s always such a busy month, but this one seems extra insane. It’s like we saved whatever we didn’t do in 2020 and just added it on top of a normally busy year, but with a heavy dose of emotional instability added for good measure.
It felt like there just wasn’t enough time, enough energy or enough resources to get through this month! However, I had to laugh! Because that’s actually what living missionally feels like all the time. So with that said, I think I’m overly qualified to give encouragement/steps to help this month if you’re feeling overwhelmed.
Not Enough Time
One of my favorite quotes on this topic is from Martin Luther wherein he said, “I have so much to do that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer.“
A challenging reminder for us when our schedules are at their most taxing. We are often convinced that our busyness takes precedence. We tell ourselves that “When things calm down.” I’ll start reading my Bible when I wake up, or I’ll start dedicating that quality time to prayer.
But, instead, let us take Martin Luther at his word. When things get extra busy, it is time to double down on our time in the Word and in Prayer. This is why in December I love doing Advent readings during my morning quiet time. It often helps to shake things up a bit and do something different especially when our lives get hectic.
Not Enough Energy
As I mentioned earlier, this has personally been a hard year for me. Several times my physical body revolted and refused to do what I felt needed to be done. I learned first hand a little bit of what Paul was talking about when he spoke about glorying in his weaknesses because in his weakness, the Lord was made strong. 1 As someone who often prides herself on “getting it all done” it was incredibly humbling to realize I really couldn’t do it all!
But this lesson brought me back to the Great Commission2, something I could probably say in my sleep, we talk about it so much in our church! But for the first time I paid closer attention to the very first line, “Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me, therefore, go…”
When we start going out and being obedient to the call of Jesus on our life, by making disciples and putting His kingdom first, it will be hard. We will have to make space, we will have to give things up, we will have to use energy we do not physically have. But we were given a therefore.
Jesus reminds us that the only way we can do all these things is through Him. He has ALL AUTHORITY therefore we can go….He has ALL AUTHORITY therefore we can do…. He has ALL AUTHORITY therefore….
I have needed to repent over and over again for trying to do all the things in my own strength. My strength fails. But when I am weak, He is strong. And He is perfect. If there are areas in your life where giving up control feels hard, take it from me: Ask the Lord what areas you are not giving Him complete control, and when He answers do not delay in laying them at His feet.
Not Enough Resources
Really to be fair, resources could be a lot of things, right? I mean, technically we’ve already covered time which is one of my most important resources. However, for the sake of this December analogy, a month when it seems like everyone is buying giant televisions or some new fangled fancy thing, I’m reminded of Matthew 6 where Jesus talks about our treasure.
He warns us that we must not store up treasure here on Earth, treasure that will ultimately burn. And yes, that definitely includes fancy televisions. And honestly, it may be as simple as that for you! Your weakness might be fancy televisions, or how important your job is, or how nice your kitchen looks. Honestly, social media does a great job at cultivating lots of feelings of dissatisfaction with our lives.
As disciples of Jesus, we are called to more important things. What better month than the last one of the year, to take account of where our treasure is being stored. Recently someone told me that they’d been challenged by a mentor to look at their bank account. They said, “Looking at someone’s bank statement will quickly tell you where their heart lies.”
I’d actually take it a bit further. I’d say look at your day planner or calendar. How you’re spending your time and resources. THAT is your kingdom!
A month like any other
In the end, December is a month like any other, and as we strive to put Christ’s kingdom first the feelings that there is not enough time, enough energy or enough resources will creep in again and again. The good news is that we have the Lord of the Harvest at our disposal and He promises help us at every step. 3