Thursday, June 5, 2014

Ready for Anything

This post is about something many women struggle with, whether on the mission field or not. I have, however, found that on the field the distractions and interruptions are more frequent than they ever were in the States. I have had to learn to be more flexible than ever. (Even as I wrote this, two unexpected mouths to feed showed up at our table during school time.) It is a daily battle of the flesh, surrendering my will for His. How can we live victoriously with so many unexpected schedule changes, unplanned obligations, and sudden ministry needs? It all starts with being Ready for Anything.


Ready for Anything

Her eyes slowly open in the morning light. And so her day begins. A quick stretch and she rubs her eyes. Her day is planned, but written in pencil. She must be ready for anything, so she starts her day off with prayer and in His Word.

She climbs out of bed and gets dressed for the day. No pajama days for her... she must be ready for anything. As a preacher must be ready to preach, rebuke, and exhort in an instant, she must be ready to greet an unexpected visitor, run an unplanned errand, and cook an unscheduled meal if the day requires. "Ready for anything," she reminds herself. And she dresses from head to toe, including make-up and fixing her hair.

She makes breakfast and gets the children ready for the day. They sit down for school, and the lessons begin. The phone rings. She gives the children an assignment as she answers the phone. Ready for anything, she whispers to herself. She pulls out her Bible and begins to counsel the caller.

She returns to the desks and begins answering her children's school questions. She juggles between them. The light clicks and a child understands. A smile. A hug. And... a knock at the door. A neighbor has come. She offers a glass of tea. Their tummy is hungry, too. Off to the kitchen she marches. Ready for anything. Feeling a little overwhelmed, she says a quick prayer and fixes a snack. She glances at the clock and recommits her schedule to the Lord.

Company leaves, and she returns to the children. More things to teach and questions to answer. And it's time for lunch already. A quick sandwich and a load of laundry washed... and her husband calls. "Can you find something for me? It's very important. I will be there in fifteen minutes to get it." The mad dash begins to find the item. Ready... for... anything.

She continues with school... a knock on the door. She struggles to understand the words he is speaking. Oh... a bill to pay. She tries to reply. Even simple sentences seem to take so long sometimes. She overlooks yet another interruption. Flexibility... ready for anything. She pays the bill and heads back upstairs to teach. Before she can reach the top, there's another knock at the door. She turns around and heads back down the stairs. A beggar. She finishes with that, heads back upstairs.She makes it all the way to her seat this time. Uh oh.  A missed text message. Someone is sick and in the hospital. She prepares for a visit. Maybe she will not get the floor mopped today. It was on the schedule, but she has learned to mark her schedule in pencil. She keeps an eraser handy by the calendar. Ready for anything. 

She returns from the visit, and they finish the last bit of school. Supper in the oven. The husband comes home. He is exhausted and hungry. She opens the oven... the food isn't finished. The cooking gas is empty. A sigh. Dinner will be late.

A call comes in. A Sunday school teacher is sick. She will be teaching the class in the morning. Ready for anything, she declares as she grabs her Bible and begins preparing a lesson.

She crawls into bed, tired from the day. The day went nothing like she had planned. But a smile creeps across her lips as she remembers that God was not taken by surprise. He had sent appointments for her all day long. He strengthened and sustained her. The floor never got mopped. The house was a little messy. But God used her that day. She had opportunity to ministered to her family, to her neighbors, to her friends. For that, she is grateful.

She was ready for anything, and realized being ready for anything wasn't just about having her outside ready. It wasn't just about plans and preparations of the physical. "Ready for anything" was handing her calendar over to the Lord, and being willing to follow His lead. She had prepared her heart for wherever... whenever... whatever He chose.

Ready for anything... an attitude of the heart.
          Ready for anything... treasuring God's sovereignty.
                    Ready for anything... laying aside self.

                              Ready for ANYTHING is simply a surrender of EVERYTHING.

                                          Are you ready for anything?


Proverbs 16:9 "A man's heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps."

We make our schedules, and we should. Being good stewards with our time requires planning. But...

James 4:15 "For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that."

Being ready for anything isn't just about having an emergency meal in the freezer, extra money in the savings account, a perfectly planned out schedule, a Sunday school lesson ready, or disaster preparedness kits.

Being ready for anything...

Luke 9:23 "And he said to them all, If any man will come after me,
let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me."

Being ready for anything is taking up your cross of self-denial and recognizing the sovereignty of God each day. Take up our cross daily... give Him our calendar daily... be ready for anything He chooses even if it means changing our plans.

by Charity, Southern Asia


Jessi said...

That was a really good post. Thank you!

Joyful said...

Wonderful post!

Rebekah Schrepfer said...

Thank you so much for this! I had just read an article about how to be more productive, but God's idea of my productive day is often times different than mine. Thank you!

Shelly said...

Thank you, Charity. This goes right along with what God has been speaking to my heart about.