This one is a bit longer, but I promise you it’s worth it.
No idea why, but lately I haven’t been spending any time at all with God. No prayer time, no reflection time, not even time in the word. I don’t know why, but I have created distractions for myself, unintentionally. All around myself. It’s oftentimes question why it’s so hard to get back in the word, because once we do, it’s so refreshing. And so far I am yet to come up with an answer, but in confidence I do have a few suggestions.
As a college student, I’m incredibly busy. As I’m sure many of you are also. Full time student, Home Depot employee, Missions Intern, youth volunteer, grace midtown attendee and volunteer, as well as having many people I’m currently investing in and trying to build relationships with, on top of many other things, spending time with God has somehow not made a spot on my list. But how could I not spend time with someone who has created me? Someone who devoted a life time to being perfect and then freely giving it up and dying a criminals death, so that when I face trials, I will have a new hope that allows me to continue pushing forward?
God created us to worship Him. So I could be the busiest, most involved and dedicated person in the entire world, but if I don’t spend time with God, then all I am standing for is pointless. As Louie Giglio would say, “Worship is when we give God His breath back.” There is so much truth in that statement that I could simply stop this blog here. But for the possibility I might encourage you, I will continue.
Though I don’t have a profound scripture to let this parallel with, I do have a testimony. One that speaks so much about being patient, and waiting with God for Him to revive me. As do you. But things will not change until you take control of your time. I’m currently interning under Michael Wahl, the missions director of my church, and he told me something so simple, but amazingly helpful. “You need to learn to say no.” As someone who loves doing anything and everything I’m invited to, I am so quick to say yes that I often over commit and over extend. Always being on the go leaves me at the end of my day exhausted and having no time with God because I just want to rest. This has grown to be a bad habit of mine.
But this blog isn’t about me, or how busy I am. It’s being written because I know so many of you who are experiencing such dry seasons and feeling completely alone. I’m not here to give you hope, I’m just here to remind you of the hope that has already been before you. The hope in Jesus Christ that allows you to come running, even when you feel completely alone, when you feel like there is nothing left to give, for you who even feel like your faith is pointless because you can’t feel God.
Though dry seasons are normal, are you willing to take back control of your life? It’s not going to happen overnight, just like you haven’t entered your season of dryness overnight. It has to become a habit, and come with lots of discipline. Baby steps of course. No matter when it is, find 10 minutes in your day just to dedicate to God. I promise you will see a major difference in your life after just a week of doing this.
Remain firm and in confidence that it will get better, I promise. Although I’m still experiencing this very dry season, I know in confidence that God will restore my heart for Him. As well as yours. I challenge you to find things that distract you, and remove them. Think of those intimate moments where you used to spend time with God, and think of what has taken the place of that.
So one last note: The story of the elephant and the tree. Many of you know this, Michael Wahl actually shared it with me. In India they take massive chains and bind new born elephants to tree trunks. In response, the elephant continuously tries to pull away from it, but because it hasn’t grown yet, it cannot break free. Eventually this elephant becomes exhausted from pulling and gives into the concept they will always be bound to this tree. Once the owner sees this happening, they remove the chain and replace it with a string. Easily the elephant could break free, but because of the connection it has made with something being bound to it’s foot and relevance it has to being held to this tree, it no longer tries to escape. Michael explained to me that this often times happens in our own lives. We have this idea that we are held to all of these commitments and are too busy for God that we don’t break whatever habits are holding us back. We have this big idea that we have to stay exactly where we are, but that’s not the case. You and I are only as bound as we allow ourselves to be.
So again, I tell you, break this dry season, don’t listen to the lies the enemy has told you, and take back control of your life. He knows exactly what you’re going through, so run to Him. If you’re so dissatisfied without Him, what will running to Him for comfort hurt? Absolutely nothing.