My summer has been a whirlwind to be honest, my oldest daughter got married in early July and from the moment school got out for my younger kids, our whole family has spent hours preparing for the wedding. Quiet time, Bible reading and prayer just did not fit conveniently in to my super busy schedule. What once was an easy habit was pushed to the side and put on hold because what I needed to really accomplish took precedent. So now that the wedding is over and I do not have the excuse of the crazy busy schedule, why do I feel so far away from Him, and even feel myself questioning His presence in my life? I do not desire a dry spell in my spiritual life, so why is this happening and why is it so hard to correct?
I looked at Psalm 13…I want to learn from David.
Sometimes God sees us pulling away, whether intentionally or unintentionally and He uses that time to help us learn a correction to the absence we have created. David felt forgotten, He felt apart (Psalm 13:1). David had a lot going on and he was experiencing turmoil that caused him to try to handle it all on his own. This is so familiar isn’t it? Fear, pride, rejection or even just loving the control of getting something done our way, causes us to turn from Him and proclaim “ I got this God, Ill meet you back right here when I decide I need you.” By filling our days with busy work which causes us to justify putting off reading the Bible, skipping church a few times or skipping prayer, we create this situation of distance.
When God sees this distance starting to form He may pull us close or He may let us work on correcting things in ourselves for a while before revealing himself to us. These times can feel so lonely and confusing but just remember in Isaiah 49:14-15 he reminds us that God is never far from us, He watches over us like a mother nursing her child or a a child still in the womb. He refuses and will not be apart from us. Hebrew 13-5 says “I will never desert you or forsake you.”
God really wants and desires for us to call out to him…(Psalm 13:3-4)..seeking God even when He seems distant demonstrates our faith and our need for His love. Is this hard? YES it is!! We are taught in our culture that we should be able to handle it all, we’ve got this, girl power, etc…a million different slogans and phrases pumped into our heads every day by well meaning parents, coaches and friends….but the truth is no we don’t got this, and girl power is a cultural construct not a biblically reality. GOD POWER is the ONLY Biblical reality! Until we can really understand this God may let us wander around in the desert searching and understanding our need of Him.
So how do I find my way back? Like any time you need to retrain yourself to return to something that is good for your life, diet, exercise, etc…you need a plan! A multi pronged plan. Have you ever committed whole heartedly to a diet plan just ten minutes after you finished eating a huge carb laden meal that made you feel like your sides were splitting open? It is like unbelievably easy to commit to carb free, gluten free, sugar free, vegan eating right after a meal like that, because it is hard to ever imagine being that hungry again. So while committing to and going to church is an important and an obvious part of reconnection…it may take a little more then a commitment to an hour on Sunday morning to truly feel reconnected on a personal level.
Because what happens Monday morning when that pang of hunger starts to show back up, but you are busy and work, kids and life are not letting up? Hold on until next Sunday? I know i’ll be finishing off pans of brownies, pints of ice cream or full racks of ribs by Tuesday afternoon…
See, this is so me right now and I am hungry for God…starving actually… and I need to re-form some habits to leave this desert and make it back to the oasis I love!
Here are some suggestions I need right now, and maybe you do too!
*Read the Bible every morning for 3-5 minutes (starting realistically is a good thing)…..or read until you find a scripture you can think about all day
*Pray….start with an admission that this is hard right now and feeling apart feels weird
*write your favorite scripture down and put it on your dashboard to read and re-read on your drive around town or to work
*Crank up the Christian radio JAMS and listen to the DJ’s minister to you
*Write your thoughts (this is huge for me…I feel very close to God when I write out His words and my thoughts on them)
*Seek out a friend who will encourage you with Biblical thoughts…no time for long convo’s over coffee? Find a friend who is willing to text you a scripture every day with a little thought behind it. (When you are feeling strong offer to do this for another friend)
*Ask people to pray for you…admitting you need a little help finding your way back is STRENGTH NOT WEAKNESS…remember GOD POWER not girl power!!
*Don’t skip church
*Don’t skip Bible Study
*Pray before you go to sleep
Seek seek seek…..and you will be found! (Psalm 13:5-6) But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing the Lord’s praise. for he has been good to me.
Psalm 3 (NIV) A psalm of David
1 How long Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?
2 How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me?
3 Look on me and answer, Lord my God. Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death,
4 and my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,” and my foes will rejoice when I fall.
5 But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation.
6 I will sing the Lord’s praise, for He has been good to me.