Women’s Devo | September 2020
Depending in the Present Tense…
I love making “to-do” lists, especially on mornings when I am freshly motivated and determined to meet the challenge of completing these tasks in their entirety. This enthusiasm is, of course, recognized after a few cups of hot coffee. My “to-do” list for the day may be sorted according to level of importance or categorized by likeness of action needed such as telephone calls, computer work, housework, and having to go somewhere, such as the store. This helps me be more efficient and, hopefully, more apt to check off as many items as possible. I know some of you are thinking, “Vicki, that is WAY too much,” but I also know there are a few of you with little smiles on your faces because you do the same thing.
I have found that my “to-do” lists are necessary because I like to be organized and, being over 50, I have to write things down on paper, so I do not forget. By the end of the day, it brings me such fulfillment when I look at my list and see task after task marked off as completed. Most of the time, however, this is not the case. The zeal I felt in the morning has now culminated into a bowlful of frustration topped off with a dollop of “I will never get this done” attitude. Was it because I put too many tasks on my list or did something unexpected interrupt my plans? Maybe it was due to the fact that I just got tired, became overwhelmed, and simply shut down. Whatever the reason may have been, the result was the same: tasks that were labeled “to-do” were now labeled “did-not-do.”
That being said, I ask you to follow the same directions you have for the dry ingredients in a cake recipe and “set this aside.”
Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings, you will find me behind the keyboard at Cornerstone Church of God in Columbus where I am part of the most amazing church family! I would like to invite you to one service, in particular. Announcements had been made, fervent prayers had been spoken, and beautiful, heartfelt praise and worship had been offered to our King of Kings and majestic Lord of Lords. It was now time for the Word. I came down from the platform and prepared. Ink Joy pen in hand and notebook open to a new page, I was ready to write down the words that God would speak to me through the minister.
After writing down the title of the message, I began to take notes. The verse being read by the minister came up on the screen – “Lord, I depend on You…” I have put the three dots after “You” because even though the rest of the verse was on the screen for me to see, my vision was focused on those five words: “Lord, I depend on You.”
Depend – not past tense, not future tense, but present tense. Do you see it, too? “Lord, I depend on You now, during this minute, at this very moment that I am saying these words to You. I am ACTIVELY depending on You!”
After church, the Holy Spirit gently nudged me and reminded me of my “daily to-do” lists – aka “things I will do today” lists. Future tense! You see, it is so easy to say, “Lord, I will depend on You,” and, by all means, we, as Christians, should be very quick to stand on the foundation that our dependence will always be on Him. But there are times when it is important for us to say aloud, “Lord, I depend on You.” When we make that statement in the present tense, we proclaim to Abba that we receive His grace and care. It is in that moment that we give ourselves permission to relinquish control and rest in our Heavenly Father’s loving arms.
You are my champion
Giants fall when you stand
Every battle You’ve won
I am who You say I am
You crown me with confidence
I am seated, in the heavenly place
Undefeated, with the
One who has conquered it all
(“Champion” by Bethel Music)
Vicki Bradford and her husband, Tommy, have worked in several church ministries throughout their 33 years of marriage and currently attend Cornerstone Church of God in Columbus where Tommy serves as Lead Pastor. They have a daughter (Krista) and son-in-law (Keegan) who live in Columbus and a son (Dalton) who is in college. As a musician, singer, songwriter, and teacher, Vicki’s calling has always centered around music, both in the church and in the classroom. She recently retired from the Muscogee County School District where she taught chorus, piano and general music for 30 years. Currently, she is working as the Office Manager at Vance Brooks Funeral Home in Columbus, a position, which she feels, gives her a tremendous opportunity to minister to those who are hurting.