“Be still, and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10)
One day soon afterward Jesus went up on a mountain to pray, and he prayed to God all night. At daybreak he called together all of his disciples and chose twelve of them to be apostles. (Luke 6:12-13)
Doctor appointments, writing, cleaning, lunch with friends, cooking, sometimes working at a dental office, exercise, devotions, reading, research, church and the list goes on. I always thought life would slow down once my kids were grown, but it seems more stuff fills the hours than ever. When I find myself anxious, worrying about the future, looking for direction or just feeling down, I know that it’s time to be still. And listen . . . as I read God’s word and pray.
Why is it so difficult to find the time? Jesus prayed all night by himself! After having people clamor around Him for healing or blessing, to see miracles or ask questions, He must have felt drained sometimes. We know Jesus slept sometimes, like He did when He napped soundly in a boat during a storm. How did He find the time to spend all night basking in fellowship with His Father? If He wanted He could have made time stand still and made the night longer, so He could have time to sleep too. Somehow, I think He didn’t do that, but experiencing life as we do, limited himself to the same twenty-four hours as his disciples and others around Him.
Yet I struggle to slow down for an hour, for a half-hour, sometimes even for ten minutes. The radio blares out news or music, laundry or vacuuming demand my attention, the cat whines for a treat.
When I was a young mother, the constant needs of my children competed for my attention. I can understand Jesus' disappointment in the Garden of Gethsemane when his followers couldn’t stay awake long enough to pray with Him hours before His death.
A few weeks ago, I took some time reading my Bible, praying and listening. The listening part seems to be the hardest, but I pray for the Lord to open my eyes and ears to what He is showing me. I wasn’t up all night, but took some extra time a couple of different mornings. He filled me up and gave me peace, speaking to my heart in a way beyond what I expected.
Jesus spent a whole night in prayer before He came down from a mountain to call twelve of His closest followers to become His apostles. Do I take the time to seek Him and His wisdom the way I should before I face a large task? Or jump at a chance to say, “yes” to a job I’m not sure I should do? Or “no” for that matter? Not often enough!
|Hands in Prayer by Otto Greiner|
As I ponder these thoughts, I’m thinking I need to make time for a mini-retreat even once a month, whether it’s an hour or two or a half a day, I need that special fellowship with the Lord which will provide guidance and strength. While my children were growing up, I liked to sneak off to a coffee shop with a journal and a Bible for a couple of hours. Now I have the whole house to myself. What about you? How will you find time to be still?
Father, help me to make the time I need to spend with You. Please open my eyes and ears to your voice. Don’t let me become distracted by the cares of this world, but to follow the example of your Son, Jesus. Amen.
Please feel free to share how you make/find that special time alone with God.