Monday, February 21, 2011

When it is Hard to Spend Time with God

I wrote last week that I would share each Wednesday how God is teaching me to talk with Him, to hear Him. Hearing God speak is wrecking my world. Not all wrecks end up being bad things.

I currently hesitate every time before I sit down to have my time with Him, to ask Him to speak, to ask to listen. Because He is re-arranging everything I compulsively set just so in my life.

I struggle because I know if I ask, and because I deeply do want to hear, He will speak... and it is much harder to ignore Him once I have heard Him.

Oh, the conflict.

Why am I more comfortable cleaning dirty diapers, and preparing meal after meal, and chipping away at my never-ending to-do list than full-out, hard-stop stilling for the Word?

And He has very different definitions of what is disorderly, and what brings peace.

He is a God of order, down to mind-blowing specifications, running and ruling over a detail oriented universe.

But I still live the words I dare not say out loud: I am so grateful You have it all together, so thankful You are sovereign over all this mess... just don't mess with my stuff... my time, my energy, my priorities, my to-do list, my plans for today. Don't ask me to stop working and simply enjoy being with You... I don't know how to do that.

And because it is a real relationship that develops over time spent together, our conversations have gone deeper than when I first began dialoging with God.

The first time I sat down to write out "LORD, I hear You saying..." and "LORD, hear me saying..." in my journal, it was a very short conversation... it was more like saying "hi! How are you? Good, I'm good too..." in passing at church and then not "hearing" from the individual again until the next week.

I had written what was going on in life, prayer requests, my thoughts... but there wasn't much listening and responding to His words to me. I wanted to listen, and was trying to... I just didn't know how to. I am much better at talking. I've practiced it more.

Here is what I wrote:

(from November 15th-one week after we had moved into our townhome)

"LORD, I hear you saying...

Set your heart and mind on things above.

LORD, hear me saying...

How do I decide on what to buy for our home?"

I know there were more prayers, thoughts, responses in my mind at the time... but because I didn't do the hard, time consuming work of writing it out... they are lost to me now.

"Finding time" to fully devote myself to sitting at the feet of the One who gives me every moment of time sounds ridiculous... but it is difficult.

I am also being taught that "legitimate" reasons to stop and to be still will always, always, always be there... regardless of what stage of life I am in.

I want to run this race in such a way as to get the prize, to have a crown that will last(the cleaning?... that sure does not last). I am being taught this requires strict training.

"Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize."
~1 Cor. 9:24-27

Spending consistent time with God requires preparation, flexibility, and perseverance. Three things I am terrible at... but training in.

My training muscles are sore, tired, stretched.

But the reward?...

You will hear The Most High speak to you about you, about Him, about life. And you will be blessed in what you do.

And I am no longer a woman who looks at myself in the mirror of His word and, after going away, immediately forget what I look like(pretty quickly, still, sometimes... but not as immediately). I am remembering more what He speaks to me. It lasts. I pray by His strength I continue to do this.

"Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does."
~James 1:22-25

I will post another journal conversation with God a bit later today... I thought this would be the beginning of my conversation post this week, and it grew. Shocking, I know.


Dianna said...

This is my first time at peaking into your world, and I love it here! I appreciate your transparency and because I wrestle with some of the same, I've enjoyed what you share. I'll be back!

Elise said...

So nice to meet you, Dianna! *Thank you* for you kind words! I look forward to getting to know you... and I will certainly be learning from your canning and freezing journal!

Craig said...

I’m here from Ann’s today
Oh to have deeper and deeper talks with our Lord. That is so good. Makes me smile. And to have a part two in a converstaoin with God – no – never shocking – for you – or me :)
I truly enjoyed reading this.

God Bless you and all of yours

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