Monday, May 14, 2012

How Do You Get By?

Dear Friends,

Do you ever feel small?  Really, really small?  I do.  Faced with huge challenges while on a past ministry journey in Asia, Europe, and the former Soviet Union, I was overwhelmed with the task ahead.  I had so many lectures to prepare and knew there would be so many people to counsel as well as many different languages to deal with, foods to eat, and beds in which to sleep in so many countries.  Then there were such different groups of people waiting with such different cultures, that I felt consumed with the size of it all and with the size of me!  I was also not feeling very well.  I didn’t know how I would get by.

One morning really, really early, I asked the Lord about it.  “You know I’m not a morning person, Lord,” I began.  “But I couldn’t sleep with so much on my mind, so…”

“Even if you’re not a morning person,” He replied, “you need to be a ‘morning by morning’ person.  It’s a choice.  You need to remember what you’ve forgotten!  Refocus and renew your mind.”

He knew I’d been getting some messages ready on the life of the prophet Jeremiah and that I’d been reading Lamentations 3.  Being of a sober temperament myself, I feel really close to Jeremiah – like a sister or something.  He was called “the weeping prophet,” you know.  I love his lamentations, too (of course!).  I really believe a lamentation a day keeps the doctor away!

Anyway, I’d been memorizing the lovely verses in Lamentations 3:22-23: “Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail.  They are new every morning.”

“Lord, it says, ‘Great is your faithfulness,’” I said.  “You are the great God.  I believe!  The problem is I’m so little.  Such a small person and shrinking by the minute!”

“But I’m so big,” He said with a great laugh that sounded like a thousand waterfalls.  “Now what can a small person do that has a great big God living inside of her?”

“Be a big person?”

“By My grace,” He replied.  “My grace is sufficient for you.  You’ll get by.”  He added encouragingly, “Just as long as you focus your mind on Me!”

Then I remembered.  Earlier in the chapter, Jeremiah says, “I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall.  I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me” (Lamentations 3:19-20).

Then he changes his mind about what he wants to think about.  You can, you know!  “Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope:  Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed!”

Ah! – I was reminded about minding my mind!  Then the Lord looked at me very seriously.  “You mind your mind, Jill, and I’ll mind your heart!  Great is my faithfulness!”

And it was so!

A morning by morning small person I am
That’s good cause I often get in a jam
So I come to the Lord at the start of the day
Then I’m ready for what comes my way.
Then when come what may happens in the course of my life
And I find myself facing such trouble and strife
If I’ve met Him at dawn, and He’s strengthened my hand
I find His good grace to withstand.
So I’m “minding my mind” and He’s “minding my heart”
And I’m trusting and praising and doing my part.
A “morning by morning” small person am I
And quite frankly that’s how I get by!


Jill Briscoe
Executive Editor
Just Between Us Magazine

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