Encouragement for Today - December 16, 2005

Published: Dec 16, 2005



Encouragement for Today


“Today I’m an Ostrich”   

Susanne Scheppmann, Co-editor of Online Devotions, Proverbs 31 Speaker Team Member


Key Verse:

Luke 4:42, “At daybreak Jesus went out to a solitary place. The people were looking for him and when they came to where he was, they tried to keep him from leaving them.” (NIV) 



Today, I’m an Ostrich. I want to stick my head in the sand and ignore everyone else.  I feel like being alone.  I don’t want to talk on the phone or read my email.  This morning I went for my daily gingerbread latte. A chatty woman stood beside me as we were waiting for our frothy cups of coffee to surface from behind the counter.   She talked non-stop. She reminded me of a chirping canary.  I grabbed my steamy drink and ducked out of the door.


Today I am an ostrich, but maybe tomorrow I’ll be a canary.


Some days I need my ostrich-type solitude.  Other times, my own canary self tweets for companionship and camaraderie.   My introverted self needs time alone; the extroverted part of my personality needs fellowship.  God created us with both needs.


Scripture proves this to us by using Jesus as an example. Various verses describe how the multitudes followed and desired to be with him. A passage speaks of the 70 people Jesus sent to work for the Kingdom. The Bible portrays how the 12 disciples were his closet friends.  Many verses illustrate that James, John, and Peter became his inner circle of confidants.  Jesus loved people and living in community with them.


Yet other Scriptures tells us, “At day break Jesus went out to a solitary place.”  Another verse confirms His need for aloneness:  “But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed” (Luke 5:16, NIV).  Jesus needed people and He required solitude.


At this hectic time of year, we fill our days with shopping, parties and family feasts.  We often feel emotionally frazzled and physically exhausted.  We overspend, overeat, and just plain overdo everything.


Time alone by myself refreshes and renews me.  It gives me a better perspective on life.  Most importantly, it allows me the strength and determination to be the wife, mother and friend I long to be.  Isaiah 40:31 applies to my ostrich days:  “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint“ (KJV).  These type of quiet days enable me to be an extroverted canary type on the busy demanding days of life.


Maybe during the month of December we should set aside a couple of days to behave like an ostrich (although, they don’t actually stick their heads in the sand).  We could let the phone ring, the emails wait, and the activities pass us by.   Maybe we could imitate Jesus and slip away for a few moments of prayer and solitude.


So today, I am an ostrich. Perhaps tomorrow I’ll be the one chirping at the Starbucks raring to interact with the people God places in my pathway. 


Which type of day do you need today?


My Prayer for Today:

Father, give me the sense to realize that I can’t do everything I want to do.  Grant me wisdom to know when I need solitude.  Please call me away to prayer with You when I begin to overdo in my activities.  I ask You to aid me in finding a balance in my life with people, activities and with You.  In Jesus’ Sweet Name, Amen.


Application Steps: 

Take a few minutes to review your calendar of events.  Determine if there are events, parties or chores that can be put aside until next week or month.  Then plan at least one morning or afternoon where you can seek God in quiet solitude.


Reflection Points:       

Why do I feel compelled to keep busy?


Do I let other people dictate my calendar?


What can I eliminate so that I am not physically, emotionally or spiritually exhausted?


Power Verses:

Psalm 37:7, “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him…” (NIV) 


Psalm 46:10, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth." (NIV) 


Luke 6:12, “One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God.” (NIV) 


Psalm 5:3, “In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.” (NIV) 


Isaiah 40:31, “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.“ (KJV) 


Additional Resources:

Intimate Moments with God, by select authors



Becoming a Woman Who Listens to God, by Sharon Jaynes



Christmas Conference (3-tape audio set), by Lysa TerKeurst


Originally published Friday, 16 December 2005.