When I started this website, I borrowed WordPress for Dummies from the library. I promptly found that I knew less than the “dummies” when it came to building a website. Sometimes I’d puzzle for hours over a way to do something. However, when I’d finally remember to pray, —I kid you not— the solution would come right away. A major lesson for me: Don’t just pray at the start of the day or the beginning of the project. Ask the Lord for help throughout.
Every day we face deadlines or a to-do list. Deadlines are helpful, but they can also drive us almost crazy. Reading the account in Luke 5:1-11 of Jesus and the three fishermen brought some reminders to me about handling stressful projects.
First, Peter, James, and John had fished all night and caught nothing. Usually they could manage fairly well because the nearby lake had lots of fish, provided providentially by God. We also have God’s good earth to provide for us, but we all run into difficulties. Jesus offered a new way for the fishermen to succeed. He was willing to go fishing with them. The wonderful thing is that Jesus is with Christians today and offers His help to us, too. When we ask and believe God for His strength and wisdom, we still have to work hard, but we have the joy of His fellowship and the confidence of good results.
I’ve found the to-do list can present some temptations in addition to ignoring God’s willingness to help. Peter had worked all night, and then Jesus came along. Suppose Peter had complained about the time it would take to go back out on the lake (although there is a hint of this at first). Meeting deadlines is important, especially in our time-oriented Western culture, but I need the reminder that time shouldn’t control me. I need to focus on the Lord and trust Him even when I feel that time is being wasted – often really hard to do.
I’m pretty happy with having built the website. After all, I’m elderly, but I managed some new technology :-). However, going back to the fishermen, Peter could hardly have taken much pride in catching the fish even though he was no doubt a good fisherman. After all, God created the lake and designed the fish, and Jesus gathered the fish for the spectacular catch. The Bible tells us “Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.” Romans 12:3
If I’m carrying out a project with an attitude of faith in God, I should acknowledge the one who makes all things possible. Ephesians 2:19-20, “. . . Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
What a great reminder Psalm 25:1-5 gives for carrying out to-do lists! “To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul; in you I trust . . . 3 No one whose hope is in you will ever be put to shame . . . 5 guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.” No need to be stressed, when we can be blessed!
Scripture quotations are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®. NIV® Copyright © 1973,1978,1984,2011 by Bilica, Inc.®. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.