by Rebecca Zickert
From Pastor Joe Pullen: My wife’s closest friend, Rebecca Zickert, is absolutely masterful at discerning the priorities of life and refusing to let busyness or stress to keep her from the most important joys of her world – her husband, her kids, time with the Lord, and laughing with a friend. Almost ironically though, she’s endured more trauma, betrayal, and pain in her life than any one life should ever be dealt. Perhaps that’s why she values the simple life so dearly, and perhaps that’s why she writes so convincingly about her heart’s desire decrease distractors and protect the space we’ve been given during the lockdown to savor the best that God’s given us to enjoy. Thanks for your thoughts, Rebecca:
He must increase, but I must decrease.
After finishing the season of Lent, historically a time of voluntary fasting from food, entertainment, and the like, we have been placed in a non-voluntary place of restrictions or fasting from so many things we like to indulge. Whether you practiced fasting during lent or not, we currently feel a sense of forced restriction about so many things we’ve enjoyed when our country was “open”.
What have you been filling this seemingly confined space with? Have you been embracing this “forced fast”? Resenting it? Escaping it?
I don’t know about you, but I felt relief at the start of the lockdown. It was the first time in my adult life when I looked at a calendar with only numbers and blank squares. No work. No meetings. No practices. No concerts. But how quickly the empty space has been filled with busyness. However, I have also created space that I may not have done before for unique family time. We have all had to get creative by filling that space without going to the movies, out to eat, or to sporting events.
For me, my calendar that first appeared to be a blank canvas to beautifully fill has not left much of a time slot for Jesus, either in time alone with Him or being His hands and feet to others. Perhaps your means of filling your calendar is not with busyness, but with binge watching, social media or a slew of other things. How much of this required “fast” have you spent with the One who has given you the opportunity for sweet time with Him?
He must increase but we must decrease.
So much has been taken away from us during this time – freedom to go where we please, freedom to gather with those we love, and the ability to earn a living has been diminished. That kind of “decrease” has been mostly forced upon us. Fasting, though, is still voluntary. It’s a gift from God given on a platter right in front of us for us to enjoy with Him. When in history have we ever been given this blessed opportunity in such a lengthy volume of time? Will we ever be given it again in this magnitude?
Decrease – A heavenly gift to draw closer to Him.
Decrease – So we can increase our steps as His feet on this earth.
Decrease – So He can increase.
The choice to embrace the “ordered fast” is yours. Join with me and let’s not let this moment escape us. Let’s not miss the opportunity to decrease so that He may increase within us.