Stretched

By Leslee Stewart

When I was a kid, one of my favorite Saturday morning cartoons was Plastic Man. He was this superhero who could stretch his body into any shape. His body was flexible, bendable, Plastic Manmoldable, pliable. And while my physical body hasn’t done the splits since sixth grade, my emotional “body” has had to perform a lot like Plastic Man over the past few months.

This year, I’ve taken on some additional responsibilities that have stretched me. It’s been exciting and wonderful, but of course, my responsibilities to my husband, my kids, my family and friends still continue.  In taking on this new role, I’ve had some obstacles to overcome but God’s grace has been there to see me through every situation, decision and circumstance.

When God created woman, he gave us this amazing multi-tasking gift. It’s no big deal for us to be cooking, talking on the phone and vacuuming at the same time. Even though he gave us this gift, he never expected us to accomplish life without his help.

But when my life gets busy and I’m being stretched like Plastic Man, the first thing to slip off my “to do” list is time with God.  My relationship with Him gets put on the back burner and I find myself giving him “shout outs” throughout the day, asking for help, but never drawing close to him.

My grandmother used to have this needlepoint hanging on her wall that said, “The hurrier I go, the behinder I get.” That perfectly describes my quiet time with God when I’m stretched thin.

In James 1:5 it says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask of God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”

I’ve always loved this verse. To me it’s meant, as God’s child, if I need wisdom about something, I have the right to go to him and request that he give me the answers I’m seeking. And when I’m feeling stretched, I do a lot of asking in those shout outs.

This week God showed me that in this verse, there is a place God draws us to in order to receive that wisdom. The phrase, “of God,” essentially means alongside of God and depicts a very close, side-by-side position next to Him.  Picture it as sitting next to God. In this verse, it is saying; if we want God’s wisdom, we must come right up alongside of him in order to obtain it.

He wants a relationship with us. He doesn’t want to just freely hand out answers to our issues. He wants us to come to him. And the moment we get side-by-side with God, he opens his hand and reveals what we need to know about the situations we are facing and gives us peace in the midst of trials.  

But so often we are too busy with our lives – stretched too thin – to get intimate with God. We want God to meet us on demand, but we don’t want to take the time to meet God’s request that we first draw close to him. He created us to communicate, fellowship and spend time with him. He needs us to seek him, as much as we need him to find us.

So today, God, forgive me for rushing in and out of your Presence – making my demands and insisting on things I need but not taking enough time to sit with You. I’m making a commitment to include You in my schedule today. Not just a quick shout out, but a time of real connection. May spending time with You be the highest priority in my life.

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