Living the Reclaimed Life

#86 - The Gift of Now ~ Denisha Workizer

December 26, 2022 Season 3 Episode 86
Living the Reclaimed Life
#86 - The Gift of Now ~ Denisha Workizer
Show Notes Transcript

What prevents you from enjoying the gift of now? Do you ever find that the thoughts in your mind are so loud that you cannot be present in the moment you're living in? The demands of life can encourage us to either worry about the future or dwell in our past, and I think it's hard for many of us to be present for the moment we live in. I pray this episode encourages you to enjoy the gift of now.

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This transcript is autogenerated. 

[00:00:00] Denisha: This is that week between Christmas and New Year. It's that strange time when we're not quite sure what we should be doing. Should we catch up on work or chores or just simply binge watch Netflix? It's almost like we're suspended between last year and next year, and in that moment of tension, we may find ourselves reflecting back on the previous year or beginning to declare things for the next year.

[00:00:26] Denisha: And those thoughts can keep our minds very busy. Do you ever find that the thoughts in your mind are so loud that you're not able to be present in the moment you're living in? I know that I do. As the founder and director of Reclaimed story, the host of this podcast, a traveling speaker and the Healing Program coordinator for survivors, my head is loud, constantly looking ahead, planning, trying to discern God's will for 

[00:00:55] each 

[00:00:56] Denisha: of these areas.

[00:00:57] Denisha: While still growing in my relationship with [00:01:00] Jesus, raising four kids, being a wife, a sister, et cetera, life can be so much. And this year I will tell you that I have really personally struggled with being present. The demands of life can encourage us to think about the. Or to dwell in our past, and I think it's hard for many of us to be present with the constant demands that are all around us to just take a deep breath and take in the moment.

[00:01:31] Denisha: I wonder if you can relate to that as I've been thinking about my own desire to be present more and shift some core habits in my life. I thought when I was a pastor at our church, didn't I preach on this very topic? Well, I found the message in our archives that I gave on a Sunday morning just after I had shared with my friend that I wanted to be more present with my family.

[00:01:55] Denisha: It seems like I may be a little slow. This is a theme that keeps playing out [00:02:00] in my life over and over. So today I'd like to share this message with you as I listen to it. Again, it really ministered to. And I pray that it encourages you to not only live in the present moment of your life, but to enjoy the gift that is now.

[00:02:18] Denisha: I hope you enjoyed this episode. Welcome to Living the Reclaimed Life podcast. I'm Danisha. We're glad you're here for conversations that revive hope, inspire healing, and encourage you to live a vibrant life with Christ. So grab a cup of coffee as we chat with today. I was laying on the floor with my daughter in our living room and we were having just some snuggle talking time, and she was at that really chatty nine year old little girl phase.

[00:02:48] Denisha: Anybody who has a nine year old little girl, Uhhuh, , you know? So it goes something like this. So today, mom at school, we did this. And then I felt this, and then I saw this, and Can you believe that so-and-so did this? And then, and it was like [00:03:00] that for a long time. And so being the good mother that I was, um, I checked out , I was present, I was doing what I was supposed to do, right?

[00:03:09] Denisha: I was present. I was in the room with. But I wasn't present. And so I was sitting there and I'm thinking, okay, tomorrow I need to text this person back. Oh man, I have not answered that email in like a month. Oh, that lady's gonna be mad at me and I'm going through all the things that I need to do the next day.

[00:03:24] Denisha: And it was like all of a sudden time stopped and I felt the Lord say to me, be present. And I thought, what does that mean? My life is so busy. There's so much going on. What is. Present mean. And so I thought, well, if I'm present, I'm alive and I can see things and smell things and touch things and taste things.

[00:03:46] Denisha: Well, that sounds really dumb, but let's start there. And I looked up on the wall and I thought, what do I see? And I saw this picture in our living room. Now that picture's been hanging there forever, but I haven't seen it in a while. And [00:04:00] so I looked up on our, on our wall, and I thought, I remember when my husband gave me that picture.

[00:04:05] Denisha: And I started looking at the details of it and realized it had a frame because all of it was wallpaper to me all these years now. And I really saw the details that were in this picture and I thought, what do I smell? And I'm laying there holding my daughter and I could smell the conditioner and her like freshly washed hair.

[00:04:25] Denisha: Her hair was wet, and I could, I could feel the, the coolness of her hair and I could smell the conditioner in her. And I thought, this is nice. Like I'm, it was like a huge funnel of chaos that was slowly starting to come down. Then I thought, what do I touch? What do I feel? And I began to feel my arm around her and her fleece pajamas, her soft PJs, and I couldn't really taste anything.

[00:04:54] Denisha: But then I thought, what do I hear? And suddenly again, there's that funnel, a little bit narrow. [00:05:00] And I could hear her telling me a story. And my answer for the last like probably 30, 40 minutes was ah-ha. Ah-huh . And this time I heard that there was a new little boy at school and he was uh, he was brand new and he was scared and he was alone at recess and that she had gone up to play with him.

[00:05:20] Denisha: And instead of saying, ah-huh, I said, wow, what a good friend you. And I realized, wow, I'm like with her right now. And it was such a moment for me. She went on to tell me a joke about a cat and I got it because I was listening. And then she went on to tell me about how her new teacher, how she really liked her new teacher, Mr.

[00:05:42] Denisha: Beard, and how funny he was and, and how he lets her like, cuz she fidgets with stuff. So he lets her fidget and does this stuff. And, and so now I'm learning about her school day where before I would've just said, uh, . And so she tells me this and I realize I am [00:06:00] like present with her and I absolutely love this.

[00:06:04] Denisha: And I actually heard her with all of my senses in that moment and that was a gift. So this morning I wanna ask you a question. What keeps you from enjoying the gift of now?

[00:06:22] Denisha: Do you ever find. Life comes at such a fast pace and that our attention to the now gets blurred. Maybe it causes you to lose your focus. Maybe it affects your ability to see things the way they really are. You know, and I've found that for, for me, my adrenaline can get going for days at a time. Like it's flowing like a river and I can't stop because it's difficult.

[00:06:47] Denisha: You're going, going, going just constantly and to stop and slow down is hard. Maybe some of you have slowed down for the. First time over this weird last week between Christmas and New Year's when none of us know what we're supposed to be doing. [00:07:00] Do we go to work? Do we clean the house? Do we just sit and watch Netflix?

[00:07:03] Denisha: What do we do with that week? Maybe some of you have slowed down during this week for the first time. You know when we're moving that fast, it's difficult to stop. And when you finally try to stop and sit down, your adrenaline can still be racing because we're perpetually on to the next thing. The next to-do list, the forgot list, the who you need to call back, text back, Instagram back, message back, all of these things, our lives are in demand more now than they have ever been in history.

[00:07:33] Denisha: And you may be sitting down physically, but you're running a marathon mentally. And that's where I was that night. But you see the gift of now, it involves putting our full attention into the situation we're in and the people that we are with. We, when we start analyzing the thoughts that are going through our minds from moment to moment, it's amazing how much we miss the gift of now.

[00:07:57] Denisha: But this moment right now, [00:08:00] we'll never be here again. And yet often we. So my girlfriend and I were talking about that Friday night, how our lives are busy and how there's so many opportunities, so many things we want to do but can't do, and just how busy life is. And I'm pretty sure we are not the only two people that go through that.

[00:08:20] Denisha: I think we all are. And as we were talking, we were talking, we talked about Jesus, and we said, you know what? He's a really good example of seizing the gift of. And there are so many different places in the Bible that we were kind of ping ponging and just kind of talking about and processing, you know, what about this, what about this, what about this?

[00:08:41] Denisha: And what was on my heart out of all that we talked about to kind of land on today, um, is in Luke chapter eight. Um, so if you'd turn with me to Luke chapter eight, there are tons of times when Jesus was present. I mean, he had to be tuned in to the Holy Spirit. He [00:09:00] had to be listening to what his father told him to do next.

[00:09:03] Denisha: And there's so many moments like that that I would've missed because I would've missed that night on the floor with my daughter, had the Lord not told me, be present. I was like, whoa. I mean, it stopped time for me. So let's look at one of his examples of what it's like to be present in the moment, and it's Luke chapter eight.

[00:09:22] Denisha: We're gonna start reading in verse.

[00:09:28] Denisha: Now when Jesus returned, a crowd welcomed him for they were all expecting him. Then a man named Gyrus, the synagogue leader, came and fell at Jesus' feet, pleading with him to come to his house because his only daughter, a girl of about 12 was dying. As Jesus was on his way, the crowds almost crushed him, and a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for 12 years, but no one could heal.

[00:09:53] Denisha: Let's stop there for a second. First of all, guys, there is no easy way to say this. [00:10:00] It is exactly what you think it is. What she struggled with is exactly what you think. And ladies, can you imagine going through that for 12 years, being irritable and grumpy for 12 years straight? I mean, that is truly what I would call a curse.

[00:10:16] Denisha: Okay? So that is what this woman was dealing with. Now, not only that, but back in biblical days, she would be ritually unclean from this condition. She would have no physical contact with anybody because she was unclean. That's 12 years. I can't go a day without a hug or I'm gonna like find a stranger at fries, you know?

[00:10:36] Denisha: And this, this woman was alone and isolated for 12 years. Can you imagine the shame and the outcast that she was in her community now? She would've had to have been anonymously in this crowd in order to be near Jesus because she was not supposed to be. In Mark's account. She, he said that she, he, he said that she had suffered such a great deal, that she [00:11:00]had spent all the money, she had to hire doctors and nobody could help her if she actually got worse.

[00:11:06] Denisha: Let's read on to what happened in verse 44. She came up behind him, Jesus, and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped. Who touched me? Jesus asked, and they all denied it. Peter. Master, the people are crowding and pressing against you. But Jesus said, someone touched me. I know that power has gone out from me.

[00:11:30] Denisha: Now let's stop there for a second. So let me get this straight. He, it says that the crowds nearly crushed him, but yet he could tell that someone touched the hymn of his gar. Now, I've been at a concert before. Have you ever been at a concert? And like lots of people, right? You're like smashed in.

[00:11:50] Denisha: Especially if it's like general seating or floor standing. You are being smashed by like a million people and I'm more worried about who elbowed be in the eye. I am not gonna [00:12:00] notice that somebody touched the hamm of my dress, my cloak, Jesus's. . And I think that's amazing that out of all the chaos, I mean two weeks ago I was in our kindergarten, first grade class on Sunday morning and we had about 60 um, K one s.

[00:12:16] Denisha: Okay? And out of those 60 kids during worship time, I mean I was getting bruises, , those kids were having a great time doing their emotions. And I couldn't have told you who touched me, but Jesus said, who touched me?

[00:12:34] Denisha: That was one touch and didn't even touch him, but touch the hymn of his garment. Now, why did he stop everything? Why didn't he just continue going? Because remember, he is going to Gyres house. He has something to do. He has a little girl to heal. So why did he stop? In all the chaos of the crowds and the pushing, and the crushing of the crowds, why did he stop and say, who touched me?

[00:12:56] Denisha: Well, looking in commentaries said that he, they, he stopped [00:13:00] for the woman's. Because he's got to say to her, your faith has healed you for the woman's good and for the crowd. The testimony of the crowd that Jesus stopped and made the miracle known. Now, let's look at verse 47. Then the woman seeing that she could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at his.

[00:13:25] Denisha: In the presence of all the people she told, why she had touched him, and how she had been instantly healed. Then he said to her daughter, your faith has healed. You go in peace. How beautiful is that? She could not go unnoticed. She is unclean. She should not even be in this crowd. She could have gotten in great trouble, but instead she could not go unnoticed because Jesus saw her.

[00:13:53] Denisha: He. That something had happened and wanted to bring that out for her sake and for the [00:14:00] sake of the crowd. As I laid on the floor that night with my daughter, you know, I could have just kept saying, ah-huh, , uhhuh. got busy in my mind with my to-do list. Jesus could have just kept walking and thinking, I've got a 12 year old little girl whose life is depending on me.

[00:14:16] Denisha: I've gotta go. I have to be somewhere. But all she touched was a small corner of his cloak, and he noticed her. The belief was that if someone touched her, that they would be unclean as a result of touching her. But Jesus, instead of being defiled by what was unclean, he cleanses what he touches. And so the contact that she has with Jesus is significant in this.

[00:14:46] Denisha: I think that I just, I paused that. That was one of the things that my girlfriend and I talked about here. Can you imagine how crazy and busy that was? Yet he stopped for her and he had a to-do list. He had things to go do, very important things. A little girl's [00:15:00] life was at stake, and yet he stops just for her.

[00:15:06] Denisha: Now for those of you who are going, what happened to the little girl, even though that's not where we're camping, I wanna go ahead and finish the story with you because I'd be like, what happened to the little girl at the end? So let's look at verse 49. While Jesus was still speaking, someone came from the house of Gyrus, the synagogue leader.

[00:15:25] Denisha: Your daughter is dead. He said, don't bother the teacher anymore. Hearing. Again, the crowds, the pushing, the busyness, hearing this, Jesus said to gyrus, don't be afraid. Just believe, and she will be heal. Let's not miss the point there. See, Jesus was busy just like we are today and starting in verse 51, this is when he arrived at the House of Gyrus.

[00:15:50] Denisha: He did not let anyone go in with him except for Peter, John, and James and the child's father and mother. So now we've gone down. We're at a smaller group of people. Meanwhile, [00:16:00] all the people were wailing and mourning for her. Stop wailing. Jesus said She is not dead but asleep. They laughed at him knowing that she was dead, but he took her by the hand and said, my child, get up.

[00:16:13] Denisha: Her spirit returned and it once she stood up, so I wanna know who's laughing now. , imagine laughing at him and then seeing that happen and being like, whoa, Jesus was never too busy for. He was present with both the woman he was present with the little girl in her family. He took the time to stop and talk to a woman whom he called daughter.

[00:16:39] Denisha: He took the time to go to a little girl whom he called my child. He felt the tiniest corner of his cloak being touched in the midst of a roaring, crushing crowd, just like the moment on the floor with my daughter. When time stopped, I [00:17:00] could smell the conditioner in her hair. I could feel the fleece on her pajamas.

[00:17:04] Denisha: I was present. Jesus was present. And he didn't have to go to Gyrus house to heal his daughter. Did you notice that he said your daughter will be healed? He had not arrived yet, but he did. Why? Why did he walk? All that ways? I don't know about you, but if I could do my job for my jammies at home, I would do that.

[00:17:24] Denisha: I would not go and travel to come to work. Not that I love my job, but I would probably stay at home at my jam. But yet Jesus didn't stop and say, I've got a lot more to do. I'm gonna stop. He continued on and I think that it's because he pursued a relationship more than just a to-do list, and he didn't negate what he needed to do, but he pursued relationship.

[00:17:52] Denisha: So what stops you from enjoying the gift of.

[00:17:59] Denisha: We move so [00:18:00] fast in our lives, you know, we wear the word busy as if it's a badge of honor. We go here and we go there. We've talked about the demands of our schedules, of our jobs, of our activities, and everything can start piling up, each overlaying each other as we race from one to the other. If you wanna give us three ideas, one is that we're willing to pause.

[00:18:27] Denisha: Be willing to pause in the midst of a lot going on. Be willing to pause in the midst of crowd. In the midst of chaos. Be willing to pause. Second thing is don't abandon the greater thing. Jesus didn't say, I can't go to Gru's house right now. I have to tend to this woman. He still continued on to where he was going and on after that.

[00:18:53] Denisha: S don't abandon the greater. Thing because we have things to do. I, we can't just say, I'm not gonna do my [00:19:00] to-do list anymore. I'm gonna spend all my times with my friends. We can't do that. That's not realistic. Be willing to pause and don't abandon the greater thing. The third thing I wanna suggest to you is that we can be the gift of now.

[00:19:18] Denisha: Not only can we enjoy the gift of now, but we can also be the gift of now. You know Jesus. One of the things that my friend and I were talking about was the woman at the well, like Jesus was a gift to her and she was a gift to him because it said that it was like food to him. Being with her at the well was like food to him.

[00:19:36] Denisha: and that's another story, but it's an example of how Jesus was willing to be the gift. And we can be willing to be the gift of now for someone else because wouldn't it be easy to go from work to Starbucks to soccer practice, to fries, hurly, focusing on what we need to get done. I am so guilty of that. If I have ever cut you off going somewhere, I'm so sorry [00:20:00] If you've ever seen me in the grocery store, like.

[00:20:02] Denisha: I am so sorry, but that's life, isn't it? It's busy. But what if we were willing to pause without abandoning the greater thing, and if we were willing to be the gift of now, because hurrying around like that, that's not what Jesus shows us. Jesus was aware of his. Now, if he wasn't, he wouldn't have stopped for the woman and he wouldn't have proceeded to JIRA's.

[00:20:31] Denisha: So what if in mind now my son has a bad day at school and needs to talk, but I don't catch the cue that he's giving as his face is downtrodden or he looks a little preoccupied with his thoughts. What if I was so busy that I missed it? What are the cues around us that can say, are you willing to pause for this?

[00:20:53] Denisha: Are you willing to have that deeper conversation with your child because they had a rough day at school? But do we always [00:21:00] notice it? I don't. I don't think that I'm alone in that

[00:21:06] Denisha: What if while standing in the line at Starbucks, we put away our phone and we looked. and we don't have to strike up a conversation. I'm an introvert. I don't always do that. I have my moments where I'm really excited to talk to everybody and, and then there's moments where I'm like, I just need a coffee or a sour cream and I'm gonna go home.

[00:21:26] Denisha: But what if we just turned around and gave a smile to somebody? What if we put relationships before our to-do list? Just a smile. I think we are missing in our, in our world nowadays, that face-to-face contact that, hi, how are you holding a door for somebody? What if we put relationships above our to-do list?

[00:21:47] Denisha: What if that person standing behind star behind us at Starbucks just needed to feel noticed that.

[00:21:55] Denisha: What if instead of seeing people as an interruption in our day, [00:22:00] what if we saw them as an opportunity for relationship?

[00:22:07] Denisha: What if instead of seeing people as an interruption in our day, what if we saw it as an opportunity for relationship? And I repeat that because I think that's so important because I too have felt that. And in that interruption, we may receive the gift of now, or we may get to be the gift of now for someone else.

[00:22:30] Denisha: And you might be thinking, you know, you don't understand. My life is like a locomotive. It's racing down the track. I move so fast and so furious to get it all done and to get it all done right? I have to stay on schedule. I can't stop to talk because if I'm delayed, then something else in the, my schedule gets pushed behind and I get delayed, and then I get further and further behind, and the ripple effect is huge.

[00:22:51] Denisha: I have to stay at my current speed every single day so that I don't get behind. I am burdened and overwhelmed. [00:23:00] If that's you this morning, I wanna tell you that there are a lot of us that can relate to that. A lot of us can relate to that. So what do we do when we find ourselves there? Adrenaline pumping life like a locomotive, racing down a track.

[00:23:17] Denisha: What do we do when we find ourselves there? If contact with Jesus is significant. Then we have a great example to follow. We have Jesus who came down as man who engaged with the world just as we do today. He was hungry, he was busy, he was tired. He was tested both physically, spiritually, emotionally, just like we are.

[00:23:43] Denisha: And that is comforting to know that. It's comforting to know that he can stop in the midst of a crowd. And you could say, but that's Jesus. So what do we do when we are in that moment? What does that mean for us today? Well, I wanna take a look at something that he said in [00:24:00] Matthew 11, and we're gonna start in verse 28.

[00:24:04] Denisha: Matthew 1128. This is a very simple sentence, but as I broke it down, I was amazed at the depth of what Jesus is saying. He says, come to me all who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest. We need that. We need rest in our lives. We can go at such a fast pace that we can get warmed down. for me. I get worn down.

[00:24:33] Denisha: I start losing my focus and it affects my ability to see things the way they really are. It blurs my now and when you're moving that fast, it's difficult to stop and rest. How many of you have had your body sit down, but mentally you're running a marathon? That's where I was that day with my daughter. I was running a marathon and I'm thankful for his reminder of be present.

[00:24:58] Denisha: It was a gift to feel the [00:25:00] fleece on her pajama. And to smell the conditioner in her hair, to hear her sweet words. But the demands of our lives are overlapping each day so fast that our, our body and our mind, they can become weary. Can you relate to that? So what Jesus says here is he says, come to me.

[00:25:23] Denisha: When I look this up, this is from the Greek word and it's Dota, and it's a greeting that literally means, come, come. Now. I am inviting you to come. It's not a passive come to me. I'll fix this. It's not that it's not passive. It is with excitement that he says, come, come now. I am inviting you to come. In Greek.

[00:25:45] Denisha: It has a feeling of an exclamation, which lets us know that Jesus joyfully welcomes us to come to. He's wooing us. He's enticing us to come to him. The words weary and burdened are translated into those who [00:26:00] are labor and heavy laden. The word labor and Greek describes a person who has been completely exhausted due to nonstop continuous work.

[00:26:11] Denisha: Can we get a amen? We know about that, right? We know what that feels like, and if that is you, then Jesus simply says, come to me. What about heavy laden and burden In the Greek, it depicts a person who's carrying a heavy load on their back, and to that person, Jesus says, come to me with that heavy load.

[00:26:33] Denisha: Maybe it's health, maybe it's finances. Maybe it's your family. Maybe it's the unknowns of the future. Jesus simply says, come to me. Come to me. I'm excited. Come to me. Come now. I'm inviting you to. and if you respond to this invitation, you'll be renewed in his presence and that promise is to give you rest.

[00:26:56] Denisha: Now, ladies, it won't mean a, a literal nap or a gentleman who like [00:27:00] to nap too. Um, it won't be a literal nap, but here's what it means to refresh, rejuvenate, reinvigorate, and revitalize. Now that sounds like a real good spa. Right. This tops, any spa day we could ever have to be refreshed, rejuvenated, reinvigorated, and revitalized, he will refresh us so that he, we, we can continue to do all that he has called us to do.

[00:27:24] Denisha: He wants us to remain refilled so that we can remain effective as busy as life is, are you going to intentionally allow uninterrupted time to quiet? To come to him, rest in his presence and enjoy the gift of. Now, if we break down that verse in Matthew with the explanations that I gave you, here's what it would say.

[00:27:51] Denisha: Come, come now. I am inviting you to come if you have become completely exhausted due to non-stop, continuous work, or if you carry a [00:28:00] heavy load on your back, I will give you rest, refreshment, rejuvenation. I will reinvigorate and revitalize you and I will give you rest. Your now is a gift. So what stops you from enjoying the gift of.

[00:28:19] Denisha: This next year, we're gonna get 24 hours in a day, but we can choose how we use it. We can choose what we're gonna do with it. So will we be present or will we wrestle with the past? Will we stress out about the future? Or will we snuggle our kids a little tighter? Be present with those around us and engage in a life present with.

[00:28:45] Denisha: There's always a new moment. There's always a new day, and we get to choose differently, and we stand here right now, suspended between yesterday, today, and tomorrow. We get to choose what we're gonna do with the gift of now. [00:29:00] So encourage you to be present and enjoy that gift. Let me pray for us. Heavenly Father, Lord God, we just lift up this new.

[00:29:13] Denisha: God, for those of us, Lord, that have been heavy burdened and that we have been going forth, Lord, carrying the world on our back, father, help us to give it to you. God help us to come to you and to find peace and rest and rejuvenation, Lord, that only you can provide. God, thank you for the lesson of being present.

[00:29:32] Denisha: God, thank you for the example that you set for us of being in the now, of paying attention to the details, the cues and the people around us. Lord, help us to not only enjoy the gift of now, but to be the gift of now. God. We love you. We love you, Lord. Open our eyes to hear you Lord more this next year, and help us to slow down God.

[00:29:52] Denisha: And we love you. It's in Jesus' day, we pray. Amen. Thanks for listening. I [00:30:00] pray you found hope in today's conversation and maybe even feel a little less alone in your story. Stay connected with us on Facebook and Instagram at reclaimed. Wanna learn more about living a reclaimed life and how you can be a part of our growing community of Reclaimers?

[00:30:17] Denisha: Check out our All of those links and more will be in the show notes. And if you enjoy this inspirational podcast, Be sure to subscribe, rate and review. Not only will you be the first one to know when new content comes out, but it is also a huge help in helping us reach more people to live the reclaimed life.