Monday, November 3, 2014

pausing in the first psalm: blessed (part 1)

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish. (Psalms 1; KJV)

As many of you know, by day I oversee the Human Resources and general business operations of the North America Division of a German-owned cable-harness company with my husband, Chuck, who (as acting President) oversees all sales and service activity throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico.

Sounds great, huh? And it is, for we regularly get to travel, meet interesting people, and set our own work schedule while operating in tandem with our German owners and other world-wide subsidiaries. That said, let me assure you that the responsibilities of both our positions can be very challenging and time consuming roles. In fact, I personally think the “glamour” of our entrepreneurial-like careers exists only in title. For overall, the work is quite hefty, the demands are great, and our individual benefits have slowly become an afterthought as we bend over backwards to keep our owners, employees, and customers satisfied with our leadership and 24/7 premiere level of service.

So, I have found that in this season of our careers, both Chuck and I are treading lightly as we commit ourselves to an industry filled with economic uncertainty due to customer spending reductions, layoffs, and tough competition throughout our field. And although we stand together facing daily foreign exchange rate fluctuations, performance investment vs. return, and sourcing new and viable leads, we continue to praise God for providing us the opportunity to contribute our gifts side-by-side within our respective occupational specialties and as a married couple. Yes, we are blessed with work… which in turn pays for our modest lifestyle and the funding for most of DW's ministry. But I won’t lie… times are indeed tough all around. Money is tight for everyone. And today, every business decision we make needs to be the right decision. We are no longer guaranteed the wiggle room that was once enjoyed when corporate America was thriving. No, today we MUST be profitable. We must keep income “incoming” or payrolls won’t run and real people will suffer.

It is huge to think about how many individuals are living paycheck to paycheck in these hard economic times. It is even more daunting to consider the task of maintaining a steady business in order to insure employing those same individuals (and ourselves). For if profits fall behind, some may lose their jobs and ultimately end up financially unable to feed their children, or pay their mortgages, or take care of medical needs, or whatever. So, we must come through in this capacity. We must succeed in what we do. That is a lot of pressure for a simple couple living in Chicago. That is a lot of responsibility to take on emotionally when you have a heart to love and serve people as God has called each of us to do.

Due to our unstable economy, every day I question what would happen if the worst scenario occurred in our company… if all business came to a hurried halt… if jobs were lost and we became another statistic within a poverty-stricken world. Equally, I wonder over the many “what if’s” of our government's financial predicament and whether or not the economy will continue to threaten the corporate success and personal survival of many hard-working individuals. And this is only one of many issues in life that concern me. This is only one area of uncertainty that I share with you today. For I cannot predict what is unknown in my future. I cannot assume what circumstances and trials lurk ahead of this minute. But I can tell you that these issues are a part of my reality and influencial to my decision making. They are what I pray over each day. They are not something that I could sanely face without a solid faith in God’s provision and plan. They motivate me to focus on the bigger picture of eternity… to consider what path I must follow to succeed in the long run… to determine what way I must choose to be “blessed” and safe in the arms of a mighty, living God. Yes, these issues bring up an even bigger decision that is not only critical to my own destiny, but a choice that will impact the lives of all others my moments may touch. For in these issues I must decide which path I will choose to take - godly or ungodly? What life I will choose to live - a servant’s or a sinner’s? Whose company and counsel I will choose to cling to - God Almighty’s or mankind?

“Blessed is the (wo)man…” This is where my heart focuses today as I begin meditating on the first chapter of Psalms. This is where my week begins as I pause to reflect on what a blessed person looks like in the eyes of a Holy Creator - the One whose hand rules over the comings and goings of this earth and the heavens above. You see, I know that today (and every day) I unquestionably NEED His blessing. I am dependent upon His grace. I cannot live without His strength and security. I cannot face the next second without the assurance that I am walking forward in His company and favor. Blessed…. ah, blessed! This is my hope and my goal… to be blessed in the eyes of my Maker and Savior.

Join me ladies… pause with me this week as we consider the life of “the blessed". Get to know THE WAY who desires our full attention both day and night – in every season, in every moment. Let's stop and reflect on His word in this first chapter of Psalms - a short but important chapter from the longest book of the Bible. Let's praise Him with a willing heart as we proceed forward in His wisdom and eternal promise.

“Blessed is the (wo)man…” who does and doesn’t do these key things… who lives in accordance with these examples… who enjoys the outcome of these promises. Blessedness is our goal. Favor is our motivation. Righteousness with our Holy Master is our assurance and reward!

blessed: meaning holy, sacred, sanctified, hallowed, consecrated, set apart…

These are your GOOD ways, dear Lord! Oh, how we pray for your guidance to make them our ways too! We come ready to learn. We come willing to seek your commandments as we linger in this potent chapter… as we meditate on your gracious edicts insuring a full and happy and pleasing life in Jesus Name! No matter what outcome may arise from this uncertain world... Father, please teach us the delights found within your perfect law. Fulfill your decrees to those who faithfully claim your path. We long to be your BLESSED people. We hunger for your unwavering love. We pledge ourselves as devoted women... striving to foretaste your glory divine as we savor every word you have spoken for our benefit!

Join me, DW. Let's meditate on these verses together. Let's pause to understand and know the holy, sacred, sanctified, hallowed, consecrated, set apart King of kings and Lord of lords! This is the day to seek after His blessing. This is the day to be blessed.

Blessings!

~Victoria

© 2010 The Devoted Woman | Victoria Anderson

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