Against the Wear and Tear of Life
"Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
(2 Timothy 2:15 NKJV)
We are subjected to wear and tear every day. Daily events and commitments thin our energies and also consume our spiritual part. Against the wear and tear of life an old italian advertisement recommended an artichoke drink. The apostle Paul, as a mature and experienced person, thus exhorted the younger and inexperienced Timothy: "Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you", (2 Timothy 1:6) and "do not neglect the gift" (1 Timothy 4:14) . Loneliness and criticism, despite all our good intentions, are two handmaids who will accompany us in particular moments of our life and of our service. A series of tensions will turn into bitter disappointments or sad considerations, making it more difficult to maintain one's integrity. This is why I would like to encourage you not to let the light that is in you go out: your dream, your fantasy, your passion. If you are a believer, a secret is to draw on spiritual resources.
The devotional life needs healing over time. Most of the time we resort to prayer and Bible study out of necessity, using them as two crutches. On the other hand, those who aspire to involvement in the work of God must relate to them as two allies, two battle companions to have at their side, always. Jesus advised the disciples not to let go of prayer, even in Gethsemane: «When He came to the place, He said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation"» (Luke 22:40). The apostle Paul exhorted the young Timothy to cut off the "word of truth", which is impossible without proper knowledge, the fruit of study and deepening. If our body is supported by two legs, discipleship cannot be supported on only one, in the sense that we cannot prefer prayer to study or vice versa, but one does not exclude the other. In fact, if you try to stand on one leg, you end up limping and not walking; at most you can jump around, but you will not be able to outline a regular path. Likewise, when we serve the Lord we should not limp, but walk and sometimes even run; which would be impossible with just one leg.
Prayer and study do not make service easier, but they will help to limit errors, and will strengthen our path. With prayer we listen to God; with the studio we are equipped so that everything we do is approved. Paul exhorted Timothy not to do anything that he would later be ashamed of. To properly cut the word of truth, a study done with commitment and dedication, accompanied by prayer, is necessary. Sometimes it is thought that studying the Word means learning everything about the books of the Bible, their history and formation, even knowing the original language and textual criticism, or as many comments as possible relating to each single verse. This is not what those who study the Word need, but the aptitude for research, equipment and preparation, which also includes knowledge of historical Scripture and cultural and educational background. If we look at our life, I don't think anyone is so presumptuous as to claim that they spend enough time in prayer. I want to point out that when we dedicate personal time to prayer in an assiduous and constant way over time, this can become a way to silence our conscience, as if to say that by fulfilling the task of praying, what is necessary for the service is done. What is different is the attitude and the constant search for communion, even in the midst of our activities. Wanting to refer to a sentimental relationship, we know that contact and closeness are necessary to nurture it.
Dearest, take refuge in prayer in search of divine guidance and help. Live the day longing for the moment to be with God, without allowing the affairs of life to doze off, as happened to the disciples. Make a list of current challenges to present to the Lord for help. If you feel like it, talk to a friendly minister, review your priorities, proceed by levels and make the appropriate choices. Cultivating a relationship with the Lord through prayer will help us dig into Scripture as well. We have a lot of work to do.
Weekly Bible Reading
Plan # 24
June 07, 2 Chronicles 28-29; John 17
June 08, 2 Chronicles 30-31; John 18:1-18
June 09, 2 Chronicles 32-33; John 18:19-40
June 10, 2 Chronicles 34-36; John 19:1-22
June 11, Ezra 1-2; John 19: 23-42
June 12, Ezra 3-5; John 20
June 13, Ezra 6-8; John 21
Photo by Amir Darafsheh, www.freeimages.com