Sunday, January 10, 2016

Just Barely

This past week I was driving home from Bible study and my route took me under a viaduct.  There was a rather large truck in front of me and as I watched the driver maneuver his way under that viaduct I found myself catching my breath.  I was sure the top of that truck was going to scrape the underneath portion of that viaduct!  He just barely made it with what looked like a ½ inch to spare. Whew!

On that same note, I am reminded of last summer when we were excitedly anticipating the arrival of our son and his sweet family.  They left their home city of Portland, OR (Mom, Dad, Gus, age 16 months and big brother, Henry, age 5 ½) and were to change planes twice before getting to our small airport. 

Their first plane change was in Atlanta and they called saying they were on a delay but not to worry since they had plenty of time.  However, another call came later saying the flight delay may be a long one and they were getting concerned.  Since 3 of the 4 of them were only going to be with us 3 full days (we kept Henry for another week!), an overnight stay somewhere would seriously hamper our time together.

We breathed a sigh of relief when that plane was scheduled for take-off, only to be told they were not sure they would make the connection in Detroit that would bring them here.  It was time to pray, for sure.  Since we worship a God Who numbers every hair on our heads (Matthew 10:30), I think He cared about our dilemma.  No guarantees though, that it would be resolved according to our plan!

Once they got to Detroit, our son called us and said he had sent Kerry on to the next gate with the two boys while he handled last minute issues at their gate.  Presumably the plane to Escanaba was being held.  I so laughed when I later listened to our daughter-in-law retell the story of the dash from one gate to another.  I laughed because she is a great story teller and because I have made that very fast jaunt many times….down under the runway and through the tunnel that has weird psychedelic colors playing across the walls.  She described the moving sidewalks, the escalators she had to conquer while carrying Gus and urging Henry on.  This is after a full day of travel! Whew, they just barely made it!

If I am honest, I would tell you that my spiritual life can be like that if I am not vigilant.  My prayer time?   I am a woman of prayer and one who believes in the power of prayer and I talk to God all day.  But time that I want to set aside just for Him and me, some days….just barely.

How about my Bible study time?  I do reasonably well through the year as long as I am attending a formal Bible study but summer comes and, honestly, there are days where it is just barely.  It is so easy to get off track.

When I am out of my usual routine, traveling, both prayer and Bible study way too often go to the status of just barely.  Proverbs 21:5 reads: “The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty.”  I believe this proverb can address many areas of our lives and “poverty” should be understood in a variety of ways, even though we tend to attach that word to financial resources.  This verse speaks to me about how abundant my life is when I allow my study and prayer time their full due; I am much more able to meet the challenges of my day in a Godly manner when I have spent time with Him.

As God continues to expand my speaking ministry and provide more and more opportunities to speak truth and hope into the lives of women, it is obvious I have nothing to give without being personally filled with His presence and His Word.  I surely need more than just barely.

How about you?  Now that it’s time to get back to a “routine” (whatever that means) following the holidays, it’s all too easy to do life in the just barely mode. Or you may be heading south for several months and it feels like extended vacation time.  Wherever you are, hopefully you find a church and keep yourself anchored in prayer, Bible study and worship.  It’s guaranteed to keep you out of “just barely”. 

John 10:10 tells us Jesus came so we may have an abundant life.  I want that!  I want all that God has for me!  No just barely!  How about you?


  1. I love the examples you gave Judy. I think we all struggle with this on some days which actually is quite astounding when we think about it. The reality is that the Creator of the Universe wants to spend time with His children and yet we find ourselves being too busy for Him! Isn't that crazy? I like how you summed it up in 2 words, "Just barely." That's easy to keep in the forefront of my thoughts the next time I think I'm too busy to sit with the Lord awhile, Thanks.

    1. So appreciate your comments. Such an encouragement coming from a published author and long time blogger (you!). Thanks!