My life for the last 4 years has been a constant need to prioritize, manage my time, and get things done. From spending 37 weeks trying to prepare for the gift of my son to arrive, to bath time and bedtime routines, to now as I juggle working full time, parenting full time, sharing my life through writing and working to not lose sight of my need for Jesus daily. Its easy for me to “schedule” reading my bible at the top of my day, or carry my bible everywhere I go with the intention of reading it every free moment I get. But in reality, if I don’t make an intentional effort to further my walk with Christ, the time I spend with Him in my Word, in prayer and even in worship begins to lose its passion. Sometimes my enthusiasm dwindles until my efforts to engage in growing in Christ are reduced to doing just enough to feel I am still connected. This soon transfers into other areas of my life. I work just enough to do my job effectively, I love on and engage with others just enough to not feel isolated and even engage my child just enough to reassure him that I love him. This is what being mentally, emotionally and spiritually drained looks like, for me at least.
Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. -John 15:4ESV
So then, what to do? I would think that the answer is to start cutting some things out of my schedule, get some rest and take a break, but I have learned that this is not always the case. Don’t get me wrong, there will be times when some things have to go, things that are not necessary or pertinent to my growth and the growth of my son. But a lot of times, what I cut down on is the most important thing. My morning reading gets pushed back to “whenever I have some free time at work” so that I can get a little extra sleep at night. My night time prayers get reduced to thanking God for who He is (not to be confused with heartfelt praise), asking for forgiveness for my sins (not to be confused with sincere repentance), and requesting sufficient grace and mercy be shown over me as I sleep (not to be confused with openly laying my burdens at His feet). This definitely does not include going before God on behalf of my family and friends that I know are struggling or lost. I cut back on the effort that I put into my relationship. Sometimes I recognize it after only a few days and am able to check myself, but other times it is not until I am describing to someone how disconnected or disheartened I am feeling and they almost always ask “well, what is your prayer life looking like?” And I am reminded that just like in any other intimate relationship, I must work to keep my passion burning and be an actively engaged participant in the relationship. That’s when I have to swallow my pride and ask God to help me grow closer to Him. I always have to go back to Him, because it is always me who has drifted away.
I really hope this song resonates in your heart this morning as much as it has been in mine this weekend. No matter how far away you feel that you have drifted, you can always come back. There is always an opportunity to be reminded of how gracious God is and there is always room to rest in Him.
Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience. -Hebrews 4:11ESV
Grace and peace