Apr 16, 2021

Finding Balance

I will be the first to admit that I have struggled with the topic of “Finding Balance.” It’s not been an easy lesson to learn, and truth be told, I am still learning, and most likely will be until the day God calls me home. I am a planner and I like to know what is going to happen. I like to have scenarios with solutions prepared for anything that might unexpectedly pop up. It’s how my brain functions and remains calm. I remember when I was dating my hubby, he would pick me up on date night, and I would always ask, “Where are we going?” Occasionally, he would not have a specific place in mind, and would simply say, “I don’t know. I thought we could just drive around for a while.” This sort of plan always messed with my psyche. It did not work for me. I have always needed a plan! Where are we going? What will we do? How long will we be there, etc.?

I have often thought of Abram and Sarai when God told Abram to get up and go. Yet, He did not tell him where he was going, and Abram accepted that. Can you imagine the conversation that took place when Abram returned to the tent to tell Sarai? Maybe Sarai was a better person than me – I do not know – but I do know that the first question out of my mouth would have been, “where are we moving to?” There have been times in our ministry when there was no clear direction and it seemed like nothing was progressing. As the wife and mom that needs a definite plan, I had a difficult time accepting that, and I would try to force things to happen so that I could feel more in control. This never works. The balance of God/wife/mom/ministry would get so out of whack and turned upside down that honestly, I desperately needed an intervention!

Matthew 6:33 is my husband’s life verse. He uses it for all kinds of things – one being the passcode on our streaming tv. I recall one night when I was desperately feeling stress brought on by myself by forcing things to take place when I should have been in the “waiting and seeking God mode”. As a result, I found myself working into the wee hours of the morning trying to get things prepared. I was sitting on my bed, and my husband had just decided to sleep on the couch because of it. I suddenly found myself in tears and starting to have a panic attack. I was exhausted, I was stressed! My husband and kids had gone to sleep, and I did not even know it. My kitchen was a wreck, the house was a disaster, and the laundry was not done.I needed to go to sleep, but I could not get my mind to shut down, so I decided to turn on the T.V. – but I had to put in the code. God used Matthew 6:33 in this moment:

”But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”

BOOM! Talk about a smack in the face! God said to me, “Anita, you are doing great work for Me, but who are you seeking? If it were me, this mess in your life would not be there. I am not the author of chaos. Who are you actually seeking to please with all of this?” None of this mess that I had made was in His plan. All of the things I was doing were for ministry, and I was f “supposedly” doing it for God, but my priorities were way off course. I had jumped in full throttle and not once had I stopped to seek God regarding it before doing so. There was no balance, and my home and spiritual lives were suffering as a result.

Do you remember the story of Mary and Martha in Luke 10:38-42? Jesus had come to town, and Martha invites Him and His disciples to her house. Martha loved Jesus, and this invitation proved it from the start. Martha’s love language was works. Her first thoughts were getting everything right for Jesus, so she started to work. I have always felt that Martha got a bum rap because she WAS doing the work and she WAS serving Jesus out of love. Yet, she WAS out of balance in her priorities. I have a tendency to think like Martha. I see the job that needs to be done, and I take over and do it when it is not being done. Mary’s mindset, however, was different. Mary’s love language was quality time. Mary could not see the work needing to be done past seeing the worship that needed to take place. She chose rather to sit at His feet, worship Him, and wash His feet with her tears. She chose total humility over total service. I struggle with being like Mary. I struggle with the part that says, “wait, worship, seek Christ first, and then work!”

Later, in John 11, we read again about Mary, Martha, and their brother Lazarus. In this passage, Lazarus has taken ill and Martha (being the “get ‘er done” person that she was) has sent for Jesus pleading with Him to come and heal her brother. As I am sure you know, Jesus chose not to come immediately and He waited three days, and Lazarus had died by the time Jesus arrived. Once Martha heard that Jesus had arrived, she immediately jumped up and ran to Him and said, (v.21), “Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.” Martha did not waste one second jumping up and rebuking the Master. The Master, in turn, reminded her that He was in control, and could handle the situation whether Lazarus was dead or alive. But where was Mary? John 11:20 tells us that Mary “SAT STILL” in her house. We read in v.28 that as soon as Martha realized once again that she had been impulsive in her response, “she went her way, and called Mary her sister secretly, saying, The Master is come, and calleth for thee.” Mary had remained at the house. Mary had stayed calm, kept her focus on WHO Jesus was and WHAT Jesus could do. Mary had chosen to stay behind in secret and seek Jesus first there. John 11:32 says this, “when Mary was come where Jesus was, and saw him, she fell down at his feet, saying unto him, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.” Here again, we see that Mary first chose to fall at His feet and worship Him prior to going straight to the task at hand and asking where the Master had been. They both loved the Master, served the Master, asked the same question, and they both shared the same grief. They had the same reason for needing Jesus, however, only one rendered an action from Jesus. We read in v.33-35, “When Jesus therefore saw HER (referring to Mary) weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled. And said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto him, Lord, come and see.35 Jesus wept.” Mary’s love, humility, worship, and tears moved Jesus to tears and prompted His action in raising Lazarus from the dead!

We will struggle to find balance in our lives and in our ministries until we have first sought after the presence of God. Jumping in and getting the job done is great! Every Pastor needs a wife that is willing to do so. However, jumping in without worship first will only end in chaos at home, at church, and in every other area of our lives. When we truly humble ourselves in worship of Him FIRST, then the only thing that matters is what He desires. When our hearts are in tune with His FIRST, then His peace will control the chaos around us. When our eyes are steadied on Him FIRST, then we cannot be deterred by the confusion around us.

By <a href="https://pastorskids.org/author/anita-joy-alverson-kelly/" target="_self">Anita Joy Alverson Kelly</a>

By Anita Joy Alverson Kelly

Anita was born into a pastor’s home and when she was 10 years old, her dad surrendered to be a missionary to the US military in Germany. After graduating High School, Anita went to Bible College, graduated, and went back to Germany to serve as a single missionary for a year. She met her husband the following year and married him. They have four amazing boys ages 11-18 who are currently being homeschooled. She serves along with her husband who now pastors in Cairo, Georgia.