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Thursday, November 24, 2011

Beware! Time Pressures!

As Christmas approaches and stresses seem to increase, one of the tensions is having enough time to do what we need to do. So in keeping with the theme of our last several posts, let me give you a story of the third principle (from a previous post): An opportunity is not necessarily God's open door.

Years ago as I was trying to put this principle into practice, I was invited to the re-organizational meeting of a ministry at the church I was attending. I knew the Lord didn't want me to take on any responsibilities like that, but I couldn't say "no" to going to the meeting. As the needs for leadership were outlined at the meeting, I was mentally sitting on my hands because I knew I would be tempted to volunteer for something. But this "opportunity" wasn't God's open door so somehow I was able to walk out of the meeting without volunteering to help with anything.

But I walked away with a heavy heart because no one else volunteered to take on any of the positions. I figured that was the end of that ministry at our church.

Within two weeks, I talked with the women's ministry director of our church and she asked me if I'd like to start teaching a parenting class. My parenting book had just come out and I knew this indeed was the opportunity that was His open door. I said yes! (And I continued teaching that class for many years).

After I said "yes," I realized that if I'd volunteered for a position with the other ministry, I wouldn't now be able to agree to the parenting class which was what God really wanted me to do. Or I would have done both and had too much to do. Then my family would have suffered. I was thrilled to see how the Lord had led me.

Several weeks after that, I heard that a group of women had stepped forward to take over the leadership positions of the first ministry. They hadn't even been at the meeting and so that ministry continued for many years. God had opened His doors to who He wanted to be involved. Thankfully, no one at the meeting felt pressured to take on something God didn't intend for them. And God had faithfully continued the ministry that He desired to continue.

As you face this Christmas season and it may sometimes feel like you have too much to do, remember this principle: an opportunity is not necessarily God's open door. Don't feel pressured to take on responsibilities God doesn't want for you. Only do those things God wants you to do. He knows what is best for you and your schedule. Trust Him with it. He won't lead you wrong.

1 comment:

  1. Kathy~

    This post is a true blessing to me in the season I am in right now...it applies to the Christmas season of course, but in my quest to help our families financial situation & try & seek more nursing opportunities in addition to working my per-diem (1-2 days/wk at a Surgery Center)I am realizing that all of the doors He has closed for me are keeping me open for something better He has in store in the future. Although my children are older & all in school, they still need me to be present at their sports & other extracurricular activities & taking on more hours would only mean time away from them. I have interviewed & sent in many resumes, but nothing has opened as of yet...I was beginning to feel worthless as I know my abilities, yet keep facing rejections. After reading your blog, & knowing in my heart that in His time He will provide the position I desire of a School Nurse I feel more at ease. While I become stressed with the burden of knowing we need the extra income not only for the holidays, but simply to make ends meet....I am going to remain faithful to His promises He has given me in His word time & time again....(HE shall supply all my needs in Christ Jesus; I Have a good plan for you...a plan to prosper you; I will never leave or forsake you...I also am still in grad school, & although it is online & am managing fine, am relieved that I have some extra time to spend on my school work without becoming anxious or stressed to meet deadlines. I am also available to sub in the schools when needed (although I can go weeks without a call & the pay is not great, it is preparing me for my own school nurse appointment one day!)
    I am still waiting to hear about one last per-diem job which is really not something my heart wants to do, I told the Lord if he wanted me there I believe he would give me the graces to do so....I have decided to STOP stressing & driving myself nuts seeking more work; when the time is right He will make something known to me, as He dropped a long-term sub position at an intermediate school in my lap last year & I was paid salary while I was there & LOVED every minute of it....He also gave me the graces to keep up with school & still maintained a 4.0!

    HE is so good!! SO WHY do I fear so???