“I feel so stressed out! There always seems to be more to do than I can get done. I’m tired and sleep deprived,” I told my friend Char.
She and I chatted while our children played, and I folded laundry. Char, whose youngest was the same age as my oldest, listened as I shared my frustration with trying to balance mothering, marriage, and ministry. All the mundane stuff I had to do crowded out what I longed to do, have a few minutes of quiet to read my Bible and pray. This irked me! The only quiet time in my house was when we slept.
Yes, I napped at nap time.
With a contemplative look, Char said, “Perhaps devotion isn’t a 20-30-minute time of prayer and Bible reading. I think it’s how we live our lives.”
This truth released me from the bonds of my own legalism. Truth always sets us free.
The next freeing truth in my pursuit of time spent with Jesus came when another dear friend and I attended a women’s workshop at a conference. Madeline was in the launching phase of mothering. I still had toddlers. Our speaker hammered the necessity of daily time in Scripture.
After the session, this wise mother of five put her arm around me, and said, “This woman and I are in a very different phase of life than you are now. Don’t feel burdened when your family and ministry responsibilities make extended Bible study impossible. You’ll have more time down the road.”
These two pieces of counsel led me to understand what I call Joseph’s famine principle: store up food in times of plenty so you can be fed in times of famine.
The hours I spent devouring Scripture before I became a mommy sustained me through that busy phase. In my mommy phase I prayed while I cooked and cleaned. I hung index cards with Scripture over my kitchen sink, and I listened to teaching on Christian radio.
My next lesson came when I had teens. Taxying four children to their activities, teaching children’s church, Sunday school, and women’s Bible study, in addition to planning the church’s annual women’s retreat, made it a crazy busy time. I had the freedom to spend over an hour in prayer and Bible reading each day, but I longed for simplicity. As I cried to God, “Show me what simplicity looks like!”
He sent a lesson through the wings of a humming bird. She flew to the feeder in my garden just as the prayer left my lips.
“Watch.” The Holy Spirit whispered to my heart, “See how her body is still as she fed on the nectar. Yet, all the while her wings are in a blur of motion. That is simplicity. Still your heart. Feed on my Word (the Bible). I will sustain you through the flurry of activity.”
He longs for us to simply delight in being with Him.Terri Gasser
This wasn’t what I wanted to hear. I wanted Him to say, “Quit this,” or, “Don’t do that.” Instead, He wanted me to keep having a quiet breakfast with Him during this flurry of life. He assured me that He would enable me to do all He had put on my plate. Sometimes I try to do things He has not called me to, but that was not the case this time. I would not have known that if I had operated out of my own understanding. I needed to spend time with Him and ask.
Now, as a grandma, thirty plus years into my walk with God, He’s opened my eyes to a marvelous truth. He just wants me to be with Him. He is always with me, but I need to remind myself to be with Him. Not studying His Word, the Bible, for information, but listening to His voice in the pages as He engages me in conversation.
He made us for simple fellowship. Jesus stands at the door and knocks because He wants to sup with us. He wants to hear our hearts in prayer. And He longs to share His heart with us through the Scripture. He wants to laugh and cry with us through all of life’s good and difficult times.He wants an intimate relationship with us.
Psalm 18:19 reminds me, “He rescued me because He delights in me.”
He delights in you too. And He longs for us to simply delight in being with Him.
Let’s talk about this! Jesus delights in you! He loves you with an indescribable, unfailing, never-wavering love. A love strong enough to heal our deepest wounds, south our greatest fears, and free us to live as the radiant masterpieces He created us to be. Do you know you’re loved? Truly? Do you know that Jesus Christ is absolutely crazy about? Are you living in that truth? Because it has the power to change absolutely everything, if we let it. When we learn to live in it.
Join us for our next Wholly Loved Conference at Bethany Lutheran to learn how to live wholly and deeply loved; experience the emotional and spiritual freedom only Christ can bring. Find out more HERE! Register HERE!
What stood out to you in Teri’s experience? Could you relate to her feelings of busyness and frustration? What are some ways you slow down to simply rest, in the middle of the busy, in Christ? Share your thoughts and examples with us in the comments below or join the discussion on our Facebook page, because we can all learn from and encourage one another!