Hurry is a form of violence practiced on time. -Eugene H. Peterson, Answering God: The Psalms as Tools for Prayer
Suddenly this season makes sense. All the pain, loneliness, sadness, and grief. I look back and think- I wouldn’t trade this for anything. If I could go back and stay in KY by my friends- closer to my family- where I was plugged in and socially vibrant- I would say no.
For now I see a portion of God’s purpose in bringing me here. He got me away from distractions- no relationships here to distract me, no full social calendar. My life is the opposite of busy- my days are slow, it used to be agonizing.
Now, I see the blessing in it-I see with new eyes. God has used my circumstances to bring me on my knees before Him. To recognize my need, to see how empty my life is without Him.
To realize that my social relationships can’t take His place- there isn’t a human being who is a “God substitute.”
But I was trying to do it. I was trying to live for Him without Him. I didn’t really pray that often- sometimes more than others- but not consistently- and my prayers seemed so artificial, like I was disconnected.
When I read my Bible, I was rushing through- wanted to get my allotted time in- wanted to complete my BSF (Bible Study Fellowship) homework- but I wasn’t really taking the time to listen.
When we first moved here, I would have the TV on all day. I watched HGTV from morning to evening- the whole time my hubby was at work. I didn’t like the silence- it would make me think too much about how much I missed my friends and how unhappy I was here.
Now I like the silence in the house, when my son is sleeping and my daughter goes up to her room to play- and I am in the kitchen doing dishes or preparing food- I pray, or I am silent- sometimes I sing if a song comes to mind.
I take time to be quiet in my spirit- to hear God’s voice speaking to me. I talk to Him about my day- if I am feeling sad- I tell Him about it-or if I am excited about flowers that are blooming or if am thinking about a friend I miss- I pray for them.
I feel more at peace now than I have in a long time. I am so overwhelmed with thankfulness- like someone gave me a precious gift that I did not deserve and was definitely not looking for- but now that I have got it- I am not letting it go.
My hunger for God increases as I see how He changes me. How He helps me be patient with my children- He helps me consider my motivations and convicts me when I am acting in selfishness.
I spend more time thinking about how I spend my time during the day- and if that is really what I want to be doing. I ask God to convict me about things I am doing that are wasting my time. I am willing to give things up for Him.
I am not perfect- no. But I feel God’s grace in my life. I feel the peace that He brings- in spite of my sin- in spite of my selfishness- I feel His redeeming presence.
Dear friends, I long for you to stop and see. To unplug and know your Savior who loves you. To spend some time just talking with Him, listening to Him speak into your life.
Can we take the time to get away, to take an inventory- even if you just go on a walk through your neighborhood for thirty minutes- no headphones, leave your phone behind. Just walk and listen- think, process- talk to God-pray.
1 Answer me when I call to you,
my righteous God.
Give me relief from my distress;
have mercy on me and hear my prayer.
2 How long will you people turn my glory into shame?
How long will you love delusions and seek false gods?
3 Know that the Lord has set apart his faithful servant for himself;
the Lord hears when I call to him.
4 Tremble and do not sin;
when you are on your beds,
search your hearts and be silent.
5 Offer the sacrifices of the righteous
and trust in the Lord.
6 Many, Lord, are asking, “Who will bring us prosperity?”
Let the light of your face shine on us.
7 Fill my heart with joy
when their grain and new wine abound.
8 In peace I will lie down and sleep,
for you alone, Lord,
make me dwell in safety.