November 9, 2009
Communing Over Chaos
"Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me." John 15:4 (NIV)
I am out-going and chatty. I like to make fun of myself. I love to laugh. I enjoy being with people - until I don't. You see, at heart I am an introvert. At some point I can sense my energy waning. I begin to crave quiet, silence and solitude.
This is why I cherish quiet time with the Lord. I love the stillness of sitting and reading the Word or a book that turns my heart toward Jesus. My husband knows that one way to fill my love tank is to give me an evening of going out to dinner alone: just me, Jesus and a good book. (All you extroverts just cringed at the thought of eating alone didn't you?) Don't get me wrong, I adore my family, but I need mental white space.
However, with three kids under age four, quiet time with the Lord is an endangered species. I don't often get to go the bathroom by myself. If the water closet isn't a quiet place, you can imagine the chaos that follows me to my prayer closet.
For a few months after our youngest was born I lived in a spiritual desert. My soul was parched. I was desperate for quiet time with Jesus and prayed earnestly for God to help me find time to be alone with Him. Faithfully, He always provided, but often my tired and flesh-wrapped spirit dozed off in prayer or got distracted by other things.
I couldn't consistently make it work. After several months of mostly failed attempts, I cried out to God, "I don't know how to be alone with You!"
"Daughter, you don't have to be alone with Me. Just be with Me. Remain in Me, and I will remain in you."
Rather than give up on being with Jesus because it's not like it used to be, my Savior is asking me to abide with Him all day. God has ordained this season of my life and He knows even better than I do how much my children demand of me. In the clamor of the sword fights and confusion in the playroom, He is my hiding place.
I am learning to seize each moment, and see it as an opportunity to fellowship with Jesus. While my kids recite "God is great; God is good," I have a chat with Jesus. When I feel alienated from girlfriends, I read a magazine article. P31 Woman and Today's Christian Woman magazines are spiritual lifeboats for me in this season. While my kids do art at the kitchen table, I read a psalm or two. Whenever possible I try to have praise music playing in our house. Sometimes singing those lyrics is the closest my heart may come to meaningful prayer time all day.
Please hear me. I am not suggesting that these brief moments should replace consistent, focused times of prayer and Bible study. Those habits are hallmarks of Christian discipleship and growth. I am learning, however, to rethink my ideas on fellowship with Jesus. In this season of my life it's not so much the quantity of quiet reflection as it is the steady communing over chaos. But hey, at least we are together!
Father, Your daughter longs to be with You. Remind me of Your constant presence. May I seize opportunities to enjoy You throughout my day. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Join us for more Everyday Life encouragement
Real Moms, Real Jesus
P31 Woman magazine
Whitney's blog - Speak When Spoken Through
Look for ways in your day to carve out time alone with God. Examine first how you spend your free time.
Is it possible that activities like television watching or surfing the internet should be cut back or eliminated to make time for Jesus?
Study John 15. Assign times of your day where you can practice abiding with Christ.
John 15:7-8, "If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples." (NIV)
© 2009 by Whitney Capps. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G, Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105