It was a delight to get to write for Marybeth, and it was bitter sweet to look at my own daily time with God. I wish I could tell you that I bounce out of bed every morning at the crack of dawn to spend a completely consistant time with Jesus. Most mornings it is a joy, but sometimes it starts as discipline. Scripture tells us, though, that God rewards those who seek Him. He is faithful! He rewards my discipline with His presence, the thrill of having scripture come to life and the comfort of the Holy Spirit to indwell me in this tough world.
The post below is also part of the chapter from Marybeth's book:
Daily time enjoying God is essential, but I am envious of one of my pastors. He takes a week each year for a spiritual retreat to a monastery. He goes where it’s quiet and simple and spends a week with Jesus. Maybe someday when my children are older and I’m caught up on laundry I’ll be able to do that, but recently God led me to do something equally wonderful on a smaller scale. I took a spiritual retreat during the school day in a room at my church.
As I walked up the stairs to the empty room, I felt nervous. I had spent hours in prayer with others, but I had never spent this long alone with God before. Would I have enough to say to Him? Would He speak to me in the silence? Would the minutes drag by? Would I walk out unchanged or disappointed?
At the end of the day, my questions were answered. God met me there. We filled our time together with prayer, Bible reading and worship. God spoke words of direction to me in the silence. I came in knowing that I was hungry, and He was faithful to fill me. Having mini-vacations with Jesus is something that I plan to do now at least twice a year. In the midst of ministry, it’s necessary to intentionally set extended time aside to seek His face and worship Him. I’ll still look forward to a week in an abbey, but in the meantime I’ll bask in a school day retreat as I renew my relationship with God and feast on His goodness!
I encourage you to examine the time that you spend with God. Are you like I was? Has your time become regimented and joyless? I hope that the devotion today was encouraging to you. Would you write out a prayer for help? Would some of you share with us ways that God has reignited your quiet time?