My first reaction to that phrase is “Yeah, right!” As a mother of 3 (ages 5, 3 and 1) when do I get to have quiet time? It’s almost laughable. There are times when my house may be quiet…the middle of the night and possibly nap time, but that is when I am either sleeping or making hay…it’s one or the other. How am I supposed to be quiet before the Lord undistracted in this house full of things that need to get done? Yesterday I found a solution!
I arrived at church yesterday morning for a leadership workshop a tad bit frazzled. I was running later than I wanted to be and the control freak in me was not completely settled with who was for sure picking Emalynn up from school. I was distracted and uneasy and not sure I fell into place with the rest of the group. The morning then started out with an amazingly uplifting presentation about listening to the Lord with our hearts and we were given 30 WHOLE MINUTES of quiet time with the Lord. I don’t think I’ve spent 30 whole uninterrupted, undistracted minutes with the Lord since…I can’t even remember when! Shame on me! What God did for me in that time was incredible.
The Lord graciously speaks to me all the time…through my children, in my thoughts, through circumstances and through His Word…but very rarely do I take an extended amount of time to just sit in His presence with absolutely nothing else on my mind but Him. That’s the key. I need to not be distracted…remember me…the self-proclaimed Martha? I am the one that needs to set everything else aside and just listen…be still. Shhhhhh! If I try to sit in my house I hear the dryer buzzing and think “Oh…if I don’t get those clothes out they will be a wrinkled mess.”…and I hate to iron. Or I hear the phone ring or I think of all the meaningless tasks that yes, need to be done, but certainly aren’t pressing. Yesterday morning I had none of that. No.not.one. The Lord cleared my mind, literally took away all of the distractions and prepared my heart to hear from Him. I sat in the gorgeous, warm sunshine and gentle breeze with my Bible and the Lord brought me to Psalm 23.
The LORD is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the LORD
I read the passage 3 or 4 times and then just listened for what God wanted to tell me. I was so comforted by this scripture. The Lord is my shepherd, my guide, and I belong to Him FOREVER. I need to not just be a believer, but an intentional follower. What that means is that I have a choice to make every second…do I do things God’s way or my way? With God I have contentment because in Him my cup runneth over. He restores my soul…from the times I choose to go my own way in the path of discontentment. If I take my circumstances into my own hands that shows I don’t trust God with my life. If I listen to lies and allow doubt and frustration and fear enter into my heart then I am proving that I think I know better than He does.
As I was sitting in the lush, green grass I looked over at the tree I was beneath. At the base of the tree was some mulch. Coming through the mulch were a few weeds. I wanted to go over and pull them out of the ground…shocking…I was distracted by imperfection, I know…but then the Lord reminded me of when I was weeding our landscape beds last week. It is baffling to me how weeds don’t need much to survive. They don’t need a lot of water or sunshine and they aren’t harmed by frost. They are ugly, they spread like mad and their roots are strong…much like sin. Flowers on the other hand are beautifully delicate and tender. They need sunshine and water to grow and they wither and die without the nutrition they need. They are easily bruised and if a frost comes and they are not protected they will typically die. And weeds…they overcome flowers and kill them. Flowers are much like our hearts. Every heart needs the love of Jesus…nothing else can quench its thirst. He gives eternal springs of living water to every heart who believes and that is the only thing that overcome the weeds of sin that lead to death. His water, His love, is the ultimate weed-be-gone. For me the weeds I struggle with are selfish doubt, fear and worry that come into my flower bed through so many sneaky ways.
What a gift yesterday was. I needed my soul to be restored from my selfish frustrations. I needed that reminder from the Lord…”Trust Me” He said. Why do I need to be reminded of that so often? Why? It’s because I live in a world that speaks lies that I all to often justify. Lies that I sometimes don’t even portray as untrue…kind of like how you can’t tell sometimes if a weed is really a weed because it looks an awful lot like a flower or a plant. They are so twisted and contorted by an enemy who is real and wants nothing more than for me to fear and doubt. But those things…stress and worry and frustration…are NOT from the Lord. That is why I need to be reminded so often. That is why I need to make it a priority to have undistracted quiet time with the Lord in His Word to hear His Truth so His living water can quench the thirst of my heart. So as laughable and seemingly impossible as it may sound with 3 children (ages 5, 3, and 1)…quiet time with God in His amazingly beautiful creation it is…”Yeah, that’s right!”