August tricked us. We were in summer mode, having time and space to fill with adventure, opportunities and boredom. Then, August 1st our kids started school. All of our time and space filled quickly, but we weren’t ready for summer to end. Without intending to we tried to do summer mode and school mode at the same time. It was exhausting. It left us totally wound up and tired at the same time. That is not a good combo for maintaining healthy relationships, gracefully resolving conflicts, and hearing Jesus’ still, small voice. So, the Stocktons are closed for September. Like the popular song a few years back says, “My name is NO, my number is NO…”
I believe pace is very important when it comes to our relationship with Jesus. When we walk or run at a pace that is quicker than the grace Jesus has for us, we run in our own strength. With the challenge of maintaining healthy relationships, gracefully resolving conflicts, hearing Jesus’ voice—while at the same time resisting the world, the flesh, and the devil—our own strength runs out super quick. Jesus wants us to move forward, but He wants to set the pace. He is the author and perfecter of our faith. He is growing us into the fullness that He designed for our lives; but we often fall behind or run ahead of His pace.
Picture the great cloud that was over those Israelites walking across the desert. The cloud cast a shadow, keeping the Israelites cool in the hot, sun-scorched land. If the people would lag behind or run ahead they would be outside the shadow and feel the burning sun upon their head and under their feet. That shadow is a picture of God’s grace. Whether you need the “ruthless elimination of hurry” or to start “chasing Jesus,” the grace of God is ready for you to enter in.
When we are in the grace of God we still have challenges in this life; but we also get the benefits. If you are having trouble remembering His benefits, pause for a moment today and read Psalm 103in the Message translation at a peaceful pace.
This Sunday we are starting a new series called “Church Around The Table.” We will be learning the way Jesus lived His life while wrapped with our injured flesh around Him, breathing our polluted air, and walking our slippery sod.