Encouragement for Today
“Something is Missing” – Part 1
Van Walton, Director of Spanish Ministries, Proverbs 31 Speaker Team Member
Matthew 25:40, “And the King will answer and say to them, “Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to me.” (NAS)
A new day dawned in my life the day my last child walked into his first grade classroom. I peeked through the door and watched him sit down at a table with a few other six-year-olds. He chatted happily, his smile revealing all. He had anticipated this day since he had watched his older brother take his place in a similar setting.
I wish my report on the coffee date that followed, the one I shared with my girlfriends, overflowed with cheer. No smile adorned my face. No anticipation described this day. You see, when my children arrived into my life, I decided to leave the work place and become a full-time mother. Weighing the pros and cons, I stepped into the role of full-time mother with trepidation because I faced the fear of life without a secure and comfortable job. But, it wasn’t long before I became involved in the many facets of mommyhood. I expected to miss the daily routine that a job offers, but mom’s work very quickly filled in the predictable voids created by walking away from my fulfilling career.
Now, the same fears crept in to haunt me. I felt empty voids developing in my day. A major struggle loomed on the horizon of my future. Filling the time that used to be taken up with endless questions, happy neighborhood walks, visits to the library, games of memory, slap jack and more challenged my comfortable routine.
I determined to get my house in order, which I accomplished in less than a month. I attacked my reading list. Each day I found time to read, but after an hour or so, I became restless. I began an exercise program. Still the void persisted.
During that time, I also registered for and began a Bible Study in my church, signing up for a study of Christ’s life. I would study the life of Christ with a goal of drawing closer to my Lord. After all, how could I have a deep relationship with someone if I really wasn’t intimately acquainted with him? Secondly, I wanted to rid my self of the awful feeling of the void in my life. My inner struggle continued as I considered the daunting challenge of filling the space left empty when my little boy skipped out of my life and left me alone every day.
The Bible study assignment included reading one of the Gospels. I chose the first one – Matthew. In seven days I needed to read 28 chapters, so I read four chapters a day. After day six, I still had not solved my problem. There was a huge dark hole in my life and, although I had learned much about Jesus, I felt my purpose in life was non-existent. I had no worth. Surely there was a plan for my life during those hours I was not a mommy. What was it?
On day seven, the day before Bible study, I began reading Matthew 25. The first 13 verses describe a wedding. The bride and her bridal party are preparing for the wedding day. The ancient Hebrew tradition dictates that the groom surprise the bride, showing up for her at an unannounced moment to carry her away, along with her bridesmaids, to consummate the marriage. Then the wedding celebration takes place.
“How does this relate to my life?” I wondered.
During this time in my life, while I am waiting, have I been diligent to “take oil in flasks along with [my] lamps.” In other words, am I making a point to continually be filled with the Holy Spirit and using my time wisely as I prepare for that day in the future when Jesus calls me to join Him?
As I consider the deep void in my life, I wonder, “Does God think I am ready? What is my daily task? What does He want me to be doing with this new phase in my life?”
It didn’t take much more reading for the answer to my question to become very clear to me. I read through verse 30, The Parable of the Talents.
God, our Master, gives each of us talents. We are encouraged to develop those talents, to invest them, to grow in our relationship with Jesus, and to improve the world around us. The Master responds positively to those servants who make wise decisions with their talents. Listen to what He says, “Well done, good and faithful slave; you were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things. Enter into the joy of your master.”
I read these verses over and over and I prayed. As I did so I felt the void in my soul begin to fill. I knew God was about to fill me with a new calling. Oh, yes, I would still be a mommy, but He was about to do a new thing in my life. He was about to entrust me with a few more things. Finally the darkness was lifting and I felt myself entering into the joy of my Master.
“Something Missing” – Part 2 continues tomorrow.
My Prayer for Today:
Father God and Master of my life, I praise You for being all-knowing. You knew before I began this study that I would be experiencing feelings of self-doubt. You truly do draw near to us when we draw near to You. Thank you for Your Word. It is life and joy! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Read Matthew 25:1-46. Ask God to show you how you can honor Him by reaching out to others in your life.
Do you ever feel like you have a void in your life?
What do you do to live a fulfilled life?
How do you prepare yourself for the day when you will meet Jesus?
Psalm 63:1, “O God, thou art my God; I shall seek thee earnestly; my soul thirsts for Thee, my flesh yearns for Thee in a dry and weary land where there is no water. Thus I have beheld Thee in the sanctuary, to see Thy power and Thy glory.” (NAS)
Proverbs 8:17,”I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me.” (NIV)
Micah 6:8, “No, O people, the Lord has already told you what is good, and this is what he requires: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.” (NLT)
James 4:8, “Say a quiet yes to God and he'll be there in no time. Quit dabbling in sin. Purify your inner life. Quit playing the field.” (MSG)
What Happens When Women Walk in Faith, by Lysa TerKeurst
At Home with God, by Sharon Jaynes
Becoming a Woman Who Listens to God, by Sharon Jaynes
Originally published Wednesday, 09 November 2005.