This is the Day

December 26, 2016

All the presents have been opened. All the carols have been sung. Christmas has come and gone. You may be disappointed with the holiday season or you may not be ready for it to end. You may still be in the throes of celebrating, or you may be returning to work. I don’t know where today finds you, but I do know one thing, today is just a day.

That’s what God has been teaching me lately. That the days on the calendar are just days. He created all of them. They all belong to Him. We use the calendar to mark days and seasons, but too often we start to let the calendar mark us. We let it start to shape us.  Or at least I do.

I let the calendar start controlling my goals. I let it start defining my success. I run to keep up with the days speeding by, and I miss the moments in the momentum.

It is way too easy for me to be controlled by my calendar. I set arbitrary deadlines and then stress over not meeting them. Do you ever do that?

We make New Year’s Resolutions about losing x number of pounds before Christmas the next year. We say we will work out three times a week. We promise ourselves we will get a promotion, publish a book, or accomplish something, anything, before the calendar rolls over again. We make promises just to make promises, and end up letting them control our outlook on life. I have done this for years without even realizing it.

Time Limits

Colossians 4:5 implores us to “Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time.” I love that verse. It challenges me to do better. But time is limited and I tend to let that limit me. I tend to let the limits of time stress me out when I try to look forward.

Instead of rejoicing with the Psalmist and singing, “This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 118:24), I let it crash around me like a weight saying another day is gone and what do you have to show for it? Another Christmas has come and gone, and you didn’t slow down to enjoy it. You failed again.

It’s a catch 22, this whole being defined by the calendar. I want to be productive, but I also want to rest in Jesus. I have so many wants that I could never fit them all in. The cleaning, and cooking, and writing, and driving, the reading, the going, the visiting, the mowing. There are a million or more ways we could spend our time each day, and no matter what I accomplish I can always see more that needs to be done.

I look at projects and see hours and days and they pile up until I feel suffocated.

This is the day to make Jesus your King.

This Is The Day…

So, this is the day, this  is the year, I am making a resolution. A resolution not to be marked by my calendar. Yes, there will be demands on my time, but I choose to pray over the days and live each day as the day God has made. He is the author of time, and I am choosing to live for Him alone.

It’s a bold statement. And I write it knowing I will stumble and probably even fall. I write it knowing that as a mom of four kids life gets completely crazy from time to time. I write it knowing I will have deadlines I will set, and deadlines I will miss. I write it knowing God is in control, and I will fight not only my calendar for control, but Him.

But God has shown me the secret: Ultimate control comes from ultimate surrender. From letting go of the deadlines and the undone. From trusting in Jesus as King instead of the clock for the minute. Living in control of my life is letting go of expectations and simply chasing after Jesus in every moment.

If I want to be free from the yolk of my calendar, I must release my hold on it. Time has been an idol in my life for far too long.

In our upcoming book, Candid Conversations, Becky Hastings encourages us to stop trying to pave our own way. To stop pushing so hard for control and to simply find Jesus in whatever is before us. And that’s where I am. Christmas has come and gone, but this day, this is the day that the Lord has made and I will rejoice and be glad in it.

Will you join me?

It’s Time to Surrender

Instead of fighting for control, it’s time to surrender. Because when we truly surrender control, only then can we truly start trusting in God. And when we cast our cares upon Him, He will renew our strength and give us peace. When we release control, we are set free from its hold on us.

Yesterday we celebrated the birth of our Savior. Jesus came to earth and was born in a manger so we could be born again. He came to die on the cross so we could be forgiven and free. And He wants to be the Lord of our life. Not just the Lord of our salvation, but our everything. Our all in all. Our King.

If we can believe He was born of a virgin and rose from the grave, why do we have so much trouble believing He can handle our problems?

1 Peter 5:6-7 calls us to “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.”

Christmas has come and gone. We don’t have to live condemned. We just need to humble ourselves enough to surrender our burdens to the capable hands of Christ our King.

Is there something you need to surrender to Jesus this year?

I encourage you, don’t wait until the next New Year, this is the day to start living in the freedom Jesus brings.

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15 Comments

  • Reply Jaime Hampton December 26, 2016 at 2:12 pm

    Heather, this post was so spot on! Someone recently asked the question “what one word will describe 2017 for you?” and I think for me I it will be “priorities.” That will mean I need to surrender my agenda to God. I want to ride the wave of where he wants me to be and what he wants me to be doing, even if it isn’t what I would like to be doing; even if it isn’t making everyone around me happy (and of course nothing can do that anyway!). I want to trade in my eyes for his. Hoping everyone has had a blessed Christmas!
    Jaime Hampton recently posted…Poor JesusMy Profile

  • Reply Grace December 26, 2016 at 10:32 pm

    I like to think I surrender all pieces of my life to Christmas, but I too often find myself controlled by my calendar or even more so my to do list!

  • Reply Terri December 27, 2016 at 1:50 am

    I want to surrender my whole life to him, he has done so much for me, so I offer him my all
    Terri recently posted…Christmas 2016My Profile

  • Reply Kay December 27, 2016 at 9:21 am

    Great post. Loved your point on how if we believe that He was born of a virgin and rose from the grave, we shouldn’t have any problems trusting Him with our problems! What a true statement.

  • Reply Andrea December 27, 2016 at 5:55 pm

    Oh about managing time God’s way – working on that one too 🙂

  • Reply Amy Hagerup December 27, 2016 at 6:52 pm

    I love this, Heather. “Ultimate control comes from ultimate surrender.” I used to make goals like “do so many presentation,” and stuff like that. But I don’t do that any more. I just make a list of what I need to do to go forward in my life and business and I don’t worry about the numbers any more. God will take care of it.
    Amy Hagerup recently posted…This is Stealing Your Future – Best Insight for Time ManagementMy Profile

  • Reply Stephanie December 28, 2016 at 7:30 pm

    Absolutely love this….great article.

  • Reply Shara Bueler-Repka January 1, 2017 at 4:29 pm

    Awesome post, Heather! I’m a To-do List Queen! The Lord impressed on me one day, “Hey, lists are good. That’s how you’re wired. However, why don’t you pray, ‘Lord, I’m planning my way (lists), but You direct my steps.'” Wow. This prayer creates a no-guilt zone when something, involving someone (God is all about people 🙂 ) interrupts my freight train intensity to complete my list. It’s OK to step away from my to-dos when Jesus steps in with His agenda. Your post is spot on and timely. Thanks!

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