A Prayer for 2018: More of Jesus

Raise your hand if you are starting the new year feeling a little overwhelmed with life. If your hand is up, rest assured I’m right there with you. I won’t bore you all the reasons I’m overwhelmed but somehow I’m not feeling alone here so I’ll trust a few of you out there are saying “me too.” Ironically I wrote most of this before our family came down with the flu so in case I didn’t feel overwhelmed enough, the flu was there to humble me a bit more.

I am at a place in my spiritual life where I have learned it’s okay to feel overwhelmed. I’m not trying to talk myself out of it like I did in my younger days. Instead, I’m trying to face what has me feeling this way and learn to lean more into the Lord in an honest way.

While looking to untangle the pieces of why I had been feeling so overwhelmed, I finally hit the wall a few weeks ago. My husband was out of town and I had put the boys to bed. The house was quiet and I had time to think. I was desperate for some hope. For some reason I recalled I had a copy of a devotional in my car I thought would provide some perspective. I ran out into the cold night air to grab it and I got in the bathtub.

I opened My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers (an excellent devotional but one I had not read in a very long time). I started looking through my ear-marked pages and the first one I turned to was this entry from August 26. This was the middle paragraph:

“Are you painfully disturbed just now, distracted by the waves and billows of God’s providential permission, and having, as it were, turned over the boulders of your belief, are you still finding no well of peace or joy or comfort; is all barren? Then look up and receive the undisturbedness of the Lord Jesus. Reflected peace is the proof that you are right with God because you are at liberty to turn your mind to Him. If you are not right with God, you can never turn your mind anywhere but on yourself. If you allow anything to hide the face of Jesus Christ from you, you are either disturbed or you have a false security.”

The tears came flowing and I realized that in all my exhaustion and frustration I had not been truly depending on the Lord. I had not been “looking up and receiving the undisturbness of the Lord Jesus.”

This lead me to thinking about New Year resolutions and how I wanted to change. What do I need most in 2018? Pretty simple: More of Jesus. I know it sounds cliché or like something you might hear and think, “That’s really sweet.” But the honest truth is I ABSOLUTELY need more of Jesus. Every minute. Every hour. Every day. Why am I trying to get through anything in my life without the Lord? I don’t have to live in an overwhelmed state. If I’m “just getting through it,” I’m a slave to my circumstances and not at all depending on the Lord.

I prayed through this thought while I soaked. I got out of the tub and before I could dry off the power went out. I stood in the pitch black, dripping wet and I started to panic with my husband out of town and a cold front blowing through. A week before the power had gone out in our condo and it was off for over 8 hours. I began to sob just feeling like I couldn’t take one more thing. Would the boys be okay without heat all night if the power stays off?

But then I remembered… More of Jesus. I prayed, “Please Lord, allow the power to come back on so I don’t need to wake my sleeping boys and move to my sister’s or inlaw’s house in the cold night. Please Lord, I need you. Not just in this situation but in every way. I can’t do things on my own. I’m sorry for the ways I’ve been trying to cope with the stress of life with empty solutions that provide no peace. Please show me more of you is what I need.”

I got off my knees and the power came back on. I cried some more and got in the bed thinking that the Lord loved me enough to provide a pop quiz just as I was seeking to apply the truth of more of Him. As I tried to go to sleep a few words starting forming in my heart. I began to sing a little and then I realized the words were coming from a hymn I had not heard or sung in years. But it was there down deep in my heart for a time such as this. I grabbed my phone and quickly googled the hymn. There were the precious words that caused me to cry all over again. This time tears of thanksgiving and hope and peace.

As I went to sleep I kept thanking the Lord for His presence in the middle of my mess.

More of Jesus.

More of Jesus.

This is my hope for 2018.

~Courtney

More about Jesus would I Know

More about Jesus would I know,
More of His grace to others show;
More of His saving fullness see,
More of His love who died for me.

Refrain:
More, more about Jesus,
More, more about Jesus;
More of His saving fullness see,
More of His love who died for me.

More about Jesus let me learn,
More of His holy will discern;
Spirit of God, my teacher be,
Showing the things of Christ to me.

More about Jesus, in His Word,
Holding communion with my Lord;
Hearing His voice in every line,
Making each faithful saying mine.

More about Jesus on His throne,
Riches in glory all His own;
More of His kingdom’s sure increase;
More of His coming, Prince of Peace.

(Eliza E. Hewitt, pub. 1887)

 

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