What Is My Priority?
Right now, I am in the middle a storm season.
I’m sure you know what I am talking about! That season when everything seems to happen at once and situations that need your attention keep piling up. You feel like you are pulled in a hundred different directions! Every day you are running from the moment you get up until you collapse into bed at night, only to have it start all over again the next day.
We’ve all experienced these seasons of chaos. I don’t know how you handle these seasons, but I have spent most of my adult life going through the following steps:
Jen’s Five Stages of How NOT to Handle the Storm
1. In order to control the chaos, I decide being more organized is the key. This involves
a. making schedules and lists
b. assigning tasks to family members
c. planning simple meals
d. cutting out unnecessary activities
**This doesn’t work, and I only succeed at driving my family nuts.
2. I become more frazzled and exhausted at the end of the day. Completely burned out, prayer and reading my Bible become an obligation. I procrastinate and never get around to doing it.
**Consequently, God seems very far away.
3. I look forward to church (if I have the energy!) because I know that I will be filled up with the Word and fellowship with my church family. Even though I am very distracted, it provides much-needed relief.
**Any refreshment I may have felt quickly disappears because the WORLD is waiting for me as soon as I step outside
4. I become so tired and stressed that I start skipping church because it feels like a burden and one more thing I have to do.
**This makes it worse—no Bible, no prayer, no church!
5. Now out of the habit of attending church, there are long stretches of not attending church at all.
Sound like you?
I’ve been here more times than I can count! And I have responded just like this so many times and have found myself in the same cycle over and over again.
But I have learned to stop and ask myself, “What is my priority?” The answer is the Lord!
This brings to mind the time when Peter saw Jesus walking on water in Matthew 14.
The disciples were in the boat in the middle of the sea & it was windy, causing the boat to be tossed around by waves. Jesus came to them, walking on water. The disciples saw Him & were frightened.
MATTHEW 14:27-32 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.”
And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.”
So He said, “Come. ”And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus.But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!”
And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased.
How often do we start out strong in faith and then get distracted by the world around us? Then, when things start to feel like they are spiraling out of control, we cry out to Jesus to help!
It is so important that we are putting Him first. It is the only way that we can keep sane in the chaos! And not just during times of chaos, at ALL TIMES. We need to be preparing for life’s storms NOW, before they happen.
One part of preparing is developing the habit of reading the Word. Make it the first priority of the day, EVERY DAY.
I will be honest …I have gone through many seasons of my life where I have gone weeks (or months) at a time not reading my Bible.
But I started choosing to make it a priority, regardless of anything else. If I get nothing else done for the day, I will have read my Bible.
There are so many great Bible studies and Bible apps. Choose a biblically-sound one and commit to doing it daily. This is the one area of your life that you cannot compromise.
Hopefully, this is something you look forward to, but even on the days that you don’t feel like it, even if it feels like one more thing to check off of your “To-Do” list – DO NOT BREAK THE HABIT. Instead, repent if you have a bad attitude about it and pray that God would change your heart and give you a hunger for His Word.
Of course, along with this we need to be praying and spending time with Him. But it all rests on reading His Word.
When life’s storms come now, I may still struggle and feel overwhelmed, but not like I used to. No matter what has happened, no matter how I have reacted, or how I feel, I have two times a day (I read at night, as well) where I know can directly hear from God in His Word. This gets my head back on straight again and my focus where it should be…on Him.