By Jerry & Nan Daley
I have asked my wife Nan to share with you why God’s quiet, simple word to her for this year is having such life-giving effects. Father has gently ministered grace to her over many years, and it has been such a joy to see her grow more and more free to enjoy doing her many tasks each day, not just for Him but with Him. Let her take you on this journey.
At the beginning of each new year, I like to spend some time considering what is ahead and what scripture or theme the Lord might highlight for prayer and meditation. Last year’s theme consisted of three words: Wait, Listen, Worship, and I wasn’t sure I was ready to move on to a new topic. But as I just waited, a sentence came into my head and then right into my heart: “Don’t be in a hurry.” I heard my Father’s voice resonate through those practical but profound words.
Strengths…and that Other Side
Let me offer you a glimpse into the way my soul works so you can better understand the impact of that sentence. I am a list-maker. My parents were hardworking achievers. What they did, they did well. I liked that about them and considered their penchant for excellence a good thing. And, of course, doing well was valued and praised in our home. So, I also became a hardworking achiever.
“What’s wrong with that?” you might ask. From the outside it looks admirable. Good things get accomplished, people are helped, gaps are filled—all of these are good…when the works are given by the Holy Spirit and when He is the Source, the power behind them. But it is also easy for pride and fear to sneak in unobserved, bringing along great pressure (“just one more task”) or apprehension (“If I don’t get this done then…”).
A Secret Enemy
There is a pride that “struts,” that is loud and draws attention to itself. It’s in-your-face and unattractive. But there is also a quiet, responsible, subtle pride that flies under the radar. Because of these qualities, it is rarely recognized as pride, yet depends entirely on self instead of the Lord. Which is the essence of pride!
Somehow, the simple phrase, “Don’t be in a hurry,” spoken by Jesus to my heart, flushes out the hidden pride or fear and, when embraced, allows me to do life with my Father at His pace, leaning on Him, waiting, listening, worshipping, savoring the present, enjoying the tasks He gives me…and not rushing to get just one more thing done. This is the kind of life I want in this new year. And every year after that.
What Kind of Fruit
I’m well aware of the many scriptures that teach us to be diligent, to do all we do heartily as unto the Lord, to rise early and work joyfully (Pr. 31). And Paul talks about working more than everyone as he was empowered by the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 15:10). So, I know I’m not being directed to be lazy or irresponsible. It’s all about the Why and the How.
Looking back on times when I allowed the hurry-pressure in, I don’t see the kind of fruit I want in my life, the kind that only comes from abiding. What I see is frustration, sometimes anger, and words I wish I had not spoken. These memories make me sad, until I taste again the wonderful forgiveness that is mine. But I don’t want to take one more step forward carrying this broken mindset. I don’t want to be fueled by fear and pride.
That simple phrase—the call to an unhurried life—has brought me fresh life and peace. I have really owned it. I know He spoke it to me, and that He wants to be with me! He doesn’t want me to miss His whispers. He wants to take the “thorn” of hurry out of my life.
I have now set myself to live this grace-paced life, to fully savor each moment with my loved ones, to be fully present for people, and to be attentive to the nudges and whispers of the Holy Spirit. Through His moment-by-moment grace, I will live this way. So I invite you to join me: Come on in, the water is wonderful!
– Nan Daley
Jerry here again. If you see some of the hidden, responsible, achiever mindset that Nan describes also in you, describe what you see.
Yes, we want to hear Father’s, “Well done good and faithful servant,” but first He speaks over us what He spoke over His Son, “This is My beloved daughter with whom I am well pleased.” God delights in who we are before rejoicing in what we accomplish.
Are you able to receive Father’s delight in you for who you are?
How does God’s word to Nan’s “Don’t be in a hurry” speak to you?
How might you live into this transformative truth for the next twelve months?