The First Things
Everyone is waiting for something. Right now, we’re all waiting for that moment when we can leave our houses and live our lives freely again. But, when we get to leave, we’ll still be waiting for something. Some will be waiting for that next paycheck, a new job, a wedding, a divorce, a graduation. Maybe some are just waiting for that moment when they’ll find joy and contentment again.
But, what are we doing in the waiting? Are we wasting our time? Are we only dreaming? Are we using every day, every minute that we are given, or are we just siting around complaining, glued to our television, the computer, or the cookie jar?
Friends, I want to encourage you to do something in the waiting! And, our first goal, our first thing if you will, is to spend some time in God’s Word. Philippians 4:8 says, “And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” And the ultimate truth, the ultimate good thing is God and His Word.
Here are some practical ways to fix our thoughts on what is true, honorable, pure, and lovely:
Complete a Devotional or Bible Study
Take a couple seconds and think about the bookshelves and drawers in your house. Do you have any unfinished devotionals or Bible studies lying around? I know I do! Those Bible studies I bought with good intentions and never finished because…who knows? (I’m lazy). Now is your chance! Pick up where you left off and get your money’s worth. If you don’t have any Bible studies, I”m sure you have daily devotional books that you could read through.
Right now, I’m working on The Bible Study by Zach Windahl which is reading through the entire Bible in a year, answering questions, etc. I am extremely behind (again, I’m lazy) so I’m trying to catch up. I also decided that if I do catch up, I’m just going to keep going! Reading the Bible in less than a year is not a bad thing.
If you absolutely don’t have anything at home that you can complete, I would encourage you to Google free devotionals or go to Amazon to look for something to purchase. There is a lot of stuff out there, and authors and companies are being pretty generous during this time so see what you can find!
YouVersion Reading Plans
If you don’t have any incomplete Bible studies or devotionals, I want to encourage you to find a reading plan on YouVersion. If you are not familiar with YouVersion it’s an excellent Bible app with TONS of reading plans based on books of the Bible or topics. You can even check off as you go or read with friends. It’s also pretty user-friendly so don’t worry if you don’t consider yourself tech-savvy. If you don’t have the app, search and download it on your Apple or Android mobile device.
Journal & Pray
For our final “first thing”, I am putting journaling and prayer together because I am assuming most of us know that we should be praying during our waiting season, but I know it can be hard to focus! If you are struggling with distractions and setting aside time for prayer, I want to encourage you to add journalling to your process. This has helped me immensely over the years. When I tried to pray, I would find myself randomly making a grocery list in my mind, thinking of everything I had to do, or just plain getting distracted. Once I started writing out my prayers in journals, I found my prayer time to be so much more focused and I got distracted less. I challenge you to try this method!
You also don’t need to go purchase a fancy journal. Look around your house and see what journals or notebooks you have. Don’t be a waster! Any half-filled notebooks or old journals will do. God doesn’t care; He is just happy that you’re spending some time with Him!
I hope these ideas will help you focus on what is true and bring you encouragement during the waiting.
And while we wait, God is good, faithful, and right beside us.
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