There is often a running joke about fishermen telling the story of “the one that got away”. In some ways, page 163 feels like the day that got away. As I look back, it was a rather productive day even though it felt like it was melting away as it took place. I began the workday going through the building before settling into my office to spend time with God putting together the prayer guide for next week. As I spent time in the Word, my mind seemed to settle on the work of God’s Spirit. That led to a morning study of a few of the things the Bible says about the work of God’s Spirit in our lives and in the world. This gift that God has given us is an incredible thing. To think that God humbled Himself and came to the earth as a baby in the person of Jesus is an amazing thought. To know that He chose to dwell among us in order to do for us what we could never do for ourselves, ought to just overwhelm our mind. But to realize He went a step further and didn’t just dwell among us as Jesus walked the earth, He now dwells within us by the presence of His Spirit! Amazing and incredible barely begin to describe such a gift.
As I worked on the prayer guide I had several interruptions that were all pleasant — the arrival of the first box of books I expect this week for the NACC, ministry conversations, a visit from good friends, and some encouraging messages. I suppose that is why it felt like the day got away from me — God’s plans were being accomplished, but my plan was taking a back seat. But the prayer guide was finished by the end of the morning, God had blessed me in the process, and I was able to turn my attention to some maintenance details throughout the afternoon. But even in that, what I thought should be simple and not take much time, turned into a process that I hadn’t anticipated but should make the ordering of some of the supplies I use much easier in the future. When that project was finished — at least the part that I could do today — I looked at the clock and realized the day had indeed slipped away and I was already a couple hours beyond what would normally be considered a full workday. But that’s okay, because a lot was accomplished both today and in preparation for future days.
With the workday finished, it was way too late to get lunch so I made my way home and started through another day’s worth of vacation photos as I fired up the pellet grill to get dinner started while I worked on the pictures. Today’s photo is one of those in the batch I worked on and is from an early morning walk along the beach. The tide was out and the gulls were standing in the shallow pools of water left behind by the receding tide. It made me think of the words in James about gazing intently into the perfect law of God’s Word and then doing what it says.
As I reflect on the day, here are some thoughts/lessons that stand out to me:
- Sometimes “the one that got away” didn’t really get away, it just didn’t look like what you expected it to.
- When I am open to what God wants me to learn, I always come away with something beneficial to me when I spent time with God in prayer and His Word.
- If I study God’s Word looking to justify my own thoughts and ideas, I either come up empty or find myself twisting scripture to make it say what I want.
- God’s Spirit is the real presence of God dwelling within those who have united themselves with Christ.
- God’s Spirit is at work in the life of every believer but we are warned not to “quench the Spirit” which, to me, means it is possible to keep His work from being evident in our life.
- Many times interruptions are only interruptions because we let them be. Often God wants to use what we call interruptions to teach and encourage us.
- While today’s work may be more complicated than planned, it is worth it when it makes future tasks take less time.
- We would do well to take every opportunity possible to gaze intently into God’s perfect law, doing what we see so that Christ is reflected in us.