Laundry. Lunches. Phone calls. Oil change. Emails. Bills. Grocery shopping. Run here. Run there. Keep going…and going…and going. Does that describe your life as it does mine?
Life is filled to the brim. We stay so busy we hardly get the time to connect face-to-face with those we love. Those whose presence make us smile and make our steps just a tad bit lighter! Technology has changed relationships. I love my smartphone and the way it enables me to connect via email, text, or social media to friends and family far and near. BUT there is still a life-giving difference between texting and truly being in the presence of someone we love.
The other day I got the gift of face-to-face time with a dear friend. It just felt good. We talked about so much more than the quick day-to-day details and funny quips and lines we often share through texting. I walked away feeling refreshed.
That moment prompted my thoughts to consider the other face-to-face time I have in relationships. Especially my time with Jesus. I definitely don’t get it right with Him all the time. I let the to-do list literally gobble up much of my face time with Him! It’s really not a wise move in light of the fact that I am gravely aware of the effect a lack of time with Him has upon my level of peace in my day-to-day life. I know that when life gets more harried than normal and I skip my time in His Word, or all I’ve managed to fit in are those short shooting arrow prayers, I can literally feel the sharp decline of the peace in my soul. Refreshed becomes a far cry from a description of my emotions, patience, attitude… or appearance, for that matter!
I’m reminded of the story of Moses and the Ten Commandments. The Lord had commanded Moses to climb up Mount Sinai taking with him two stone tablets. He would remain there in the presence of God for 40 days and nights completing the inscription of the Ten Commandments. Upon his return to his people, they were shocked at his “radiant” face. Here is what it says:
Now, obviously, we don’t have the option of climbing Mount Sinai, and thankfully nor do we need it. Because of Jesus, we have the ability to be in the presence of God wherever we are. But it does take us doing our part. Just as it takes effort to make that face-to-face time with a friend, so it is with God.
Recently, our pastor, Cal Jernigan, said this about prayer: “The spirit of God is the breath of God. God speaks into our lives with His Word and we speak into His life with prayer. Inhale His Word and exhale prayer. The minute you stop communicating, or breathing into the life of any relationship it dies.”
It struck me. It struck me on all levels. Yes. I need to be breathing into all my relationships. With my husband, my children, my family, my friends…and with Jesus. I thought of how, when I FEEL the peace diminish I also feel the distance in my relationship with God. It’s in those moments I find myself wondering where He is and why He is so silent. It’s in those moments I find myself looking to the things and people in my world to fill up that great big hole of need in my heart. I set myself and those around me up for failure because no one nor anything can ever be or do what I need in order to fix that God-shaped hole in my heart.
Every day, I need His peace. I need it when I am overwhelmed with critical decisions to make. I need it when I am emotionally exhausted…when the to-do list is too long…when the house is filled with kid drama…when my husband and I can’t seem to see eye-to-eye…when a friend has betrayed me… when the reality of life falls short of the vision of life. I need His peace. Without it, I crumble like a car without oil. Little by little everything begins to break down.
Isn’t it ironical that instead of pointedly making time to breathe into our relationship with the Lord, it seems easier to grab some chips and curl up with a good People magazine or maybe a mindless television show? Don’t get me wrong…there is nothing wrong with a few chips and some mindless television…but does the zoning out and the unhealthy food choices have any lasting effect upon our peace? Does it fill that hole in our hearts? I don’t believe so. It’s momentary.
But God. The moments we spend with Him have long-term effect. They fill our hearts and minds and souls with all that is of Him. We breathe in His Word and exhale our prayer. Then we listen quietly and allow Him to multiply our moments, one on top of the other to build a beautiful story of a life connected by the dots of His peace. And then. Then we feel the gaps in our heart filling gently with all that is Him.
Let’s not let the enemy convince us we do not have time to breathe into our relationships.
Breathe deeply every moment you can.
Be refreshed by time with those you love.
Be rescued, renewed, and redeemed by time with the One who has the power to do so.
By the lover of your soul.
By time with Jesus.
As for God, his way is perfect: The Lord’s word is flawless; he shields all who take refuge in him. For who is God besides the Lord? And who is the Rock except our God? It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure. He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he causes me to stand on the heights.
Psalm 18:30-33 (NIV)
Dear Jesus, Thank You for being my rock. Thank You for delivering peace as can no other. Lord, I know your Word is flawless and I want turn to You even when my schedule is overflowing. Let me be a person who creates face-to-face time with family and friends…and most importantly with You. May I breathe in Your Word and breathe out prayer all the days of my life. Amen
Blessings and smiles,