A Note from Chris Adams: I recall seasons where the Lord took me off my feet and into a quiet place with Him during very busy seasons of ministry. Though I fought against the slow down, once I relaxed into what God had brought my way, I found the most beautiful times of rest and restoration in my walk with Him that impacted my return to full speed ahead!
Today’s article is written by Martha Lawley is an author, speaker, and Bible study leader who has served women in her local church and across the country in various capacities. I know her story will touch your heart and encourage you to listen when God slows you down!
By Martha Lawley
It can’t possibly be almost April 2015! I seem to be stuck somewhere back in 2014. OK, maybe if I was totally honest I’d say 2013! Have you ever felt like you’re in slow motion but everything around you is in fast-forward motion? Well, that’s exactly where I’ve been this past year.
I tried to cast blame on the unexpected interruption of 3 major surgeries in 11 months and a world spinning out of control. But eventually I had to admit that God slowed my life down for a reason. And perhaps more confusing was that God did not just kept the world moving ahead while He slowed me down, but He seemed to push the fast forward button.
Slowing down when the world kicks it into high gear can give you spiritual and emotional whiplash. I found myself stunned and stuck—empty and exhausted. This may help explain why I took so long to ask God why He was slowing me down. I wished I had asked Him earlier.
So why did God slow me down and allow everything around me to speed ahead? Well, to be blunt, it was because I needed to slow down. I needed to be reminded that God does not need my help. There’s nothing quite like letting the world go on without you for a while to prove that point. But there was more. God wanted to do a little restoration work in my heart. And for that, I’m forever grateful!
My life seems to be picking up some speed again and as it does, I’m reflecting on all the blessings of my forced slow down. The blessings are many—each one sweet and personal.
Perhaps the most profound lesson God impressed on me was a reminder that life is in Him alone. And that life comes from abiding in Him. The busier I get, the less I seem to abide. I rely on quick quiet times and prayers hastily tossed heavenward. Sound familiar?
As God began to strengthen my connection with Him, deep abiding was restored. I didn’t even realize how far I had drifted or how much I needed this deep, more constant abiding. To do this God had to slow me down. I suspect He tried an easier way, but I did not take the hint.
While I was in slow motion, God used many different passages of Scripture to woo me into deeper relationship with Him. But the passage that pierced my heart and brought needed clarity was Psalm 92:12-15. “The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree, He shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Those who are planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bear fruit in old age; They shall be fresh and flourishing, To declare that the Lord is upright; He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.” (NKJV)
I want to be fresh and flourish. I want to bear fruit in old age. I now see how stale my ministry was becoming and why God slowed me down for a time of refreshment in Him. My prayer is that I’ll let Him set the pace and rely on His strength to do whatever He sets before me. Only He can keep us fresh, make us flourish and produce fruit when we are old!
How does God keep you fresh and make you flourish in your ministry?