March 29, 2017

As I sit here in the sunroom on a gloriously sunny late March afternoon, watching birds flitting around the bird feeder and pairing up to make teensy weensy baby birds, while my crazy squirrel-chasing, fence-escaping bloodhound patrols the yard, I’m pondering this question–Why is MORE my word for 2017? (That sentence, by the way, was a bit of a punctuational conundrum, with which I wrestled longer than any normal person would, but I did manage to make it understandable, I think, which is the main goal when dealing with sentences.) So now I’m moving on to wrestling with what MORE means at the beginning of my seventh decade of life, and wrestling is something that wears me out a lot faster than it once did, so let’s get on with it!

The Lord has blessed me tremendously up to this point, drawing me to Jesus early in life, giving me a kind and loving husband, three beautiful daughters, multitudes of friends, always meeting my needs bountifully. In fact for most of my child-raising years I longed for less, rather than more–less busyness, less noise, less time-sucking chores, less sleep deprivation. Now, suddenly, in my newly sproinged Old Age Crisis, I want MORE? What’s that about?

I think God is finally breaking through my hard head and turning around the whole negative thinking process I’ve struggled with all my life. I don’t know that MORE is all that different than the LESS I wanted during the child-raising years. It’s just that instead of concentrating on what I don’t want–the hectic pace, the constant noise inside and outside of my head, the daily chores that can’t be avoided for long–I’m suddenly, astoundingly, focusing on what I want MORE–peace, restful times to think, read, and write, space in my head to enjoy the present while I still have a present, opportunities to enjoy the people God has placed in my life, gratitude for the strength to still do the chores that need to be done. I reckon I’m just slow when it comes to seeing God’s perspective on life.

Last month I quoted Ephesians 3:20-21 from the Amplified Bible as the one scripture out of four I selected that I was feeling most drawn to during this MORE journey. But this one in 2 Corinthians 12:9, also in the Amplified, is speaking even louder to me at this moment. It’s all about how God uses our weaknesses to teach us His truth and reveal His power in our lives:

God says, *”My grace is sufficient for you [My loving kindness and My mercy are MORE than enough–always available–regardless of the situation]; for [My] power is being perfected [and is completed and shows itself most effectively] in [your] weakness.”
Therefore, I will all the MORE gladly boast in weaknesses, so that the power of Christ [may completely enfold me and] may dwell in me.*

So maybe MORE for me right now means taking each day as a gift to enjoy what I already have, what I’ve already been doing all my life, what God created me to be–His poem in progress, without fear of not being strong or bold or smart enough. He is perfecting me THROUGH my weaknesses so that I know it’s not I, but He, who is doing whatever it is He put me here to be and to do. And that goes right along with a third verse I chose for this year: *He must increase, but I must decrease. [He must grow MORE prominent: I must grow less so]* John 3:30.

MORE is LESS and LESS is MORE. MORE is also DEEP. Who knew? Stayed tuned to see what MORE is in STORE!