“Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness”
Lamentations 3:22-23, NKJV
Being honest with ourselves is not an easy thing to do, and yet, it’s a necessary component (in my humble opinion) for growth. I had to admit to myself that I’d been slacking when it came to spending quality time with God. The busyness of school, publishing, writing, etc. had resulted in what I referred to as spiritual quickies. I read the Word each day via a devotion or the Bible app’s daily verse, but it was more of a checklist action. I wasn’t taking the time to meditate on or internalize the Word as I should.
I suspect that one reason this bothered me so was because my top love language is quality time. I demonstrate my love through the investment of my time. Whether it’s simply hanging out and having fun, helping a loved one work through a crisis, or setting aside time to work on projects of my own or others, I do so because I love what I do and those with and for whom I do it. Though 2018 brought new challenges into my life via the doctoral program, I still maintained my relationships. I even talked to God on a regular basis, but I wasn’t consistently taking time to be with Him.
I felt the void and I didn’t like it.
Nope, not one bit!
Yet, it took a while for my behavior to change because I’d gotten accustomed my quick interactions with God. It was as if I would hurry and get my time with God out the way because I had a paper due . . . project deadline . . . business meeting, or whatever else was on my agenda that day.
I wasn’t and still am not focused on the amount of time. Unlike one of the characters I created, I do not wake up every morning and spend three hours praying and studying the Word, feeling like I’m “less saved” if I fall short of that time. I’m not legalistic or robotic about my spiritual walk. Rather, my focus was and is on the value of the time spent, and I knew in my heart that I was not valuing time with God as I should.
Admitting my shortcomings to myself and God is one thing. Admitting them to others is something different. I shared with a few friends who encouraged me as I worked to change my behavior. I had no intentions of sharing publicly. However, as I prayed about what to write this month, I kept feeling like I needed to be transparent about this struggle. One of the reasons it took me so long to write this month is because I really didn’t want to talk about this on the internet! God, really! Do I have to? We’re good now. It’s okay that no one else knows. Or, so I thought. But, this thing called obedience gets me every time and I don’t have peace until I do something I’m supposed to do! (That’s another story for another day!) I can only trust that my sharing will be a blessing to someone else.
If you have been struggling to spend quality time with God, here are a few things I hope you take away from this post.
- God is not mad at you. When recently thinking about a not yet answered prayer in my life, I flat out said, “God are You mad at me?” Kid you not, after I asked the question, I saw a t-shirt that read: God is not mad at you, He’s mad about you. I smiled. Message received! God loves you so much (Romans 8:38–39). He’s patiently waiting for you to give Him the space He deserves in your life.
- There’s no greater relationship we can have in this world than the one with God. Your spouse, significant other, or BFF may understand you to an extent, but only the Lord can reach into the crevices of those deep places in your heart (Psalm 107:9).
- Whether you’ve neglected time with God or have turned away from him altogether, as long as you still have breath in your body, it’s not too late to start again. His mercies are new every day. Today is a new day, so how about getting a fresh start?