Coffee break or desert break? (1)
I find it very satisfying to be challenged by the realities of today’s working life, both in their complexity and in their challenges.
Being a Christian and wanting God to have as much space as possible in my life, I have set aside a daily time in His Word and in prayer and I use the free time between daily activities to turn to Him and talk to Him. I seek to live out Christ as well as possible in my daily life. On top of that I regularly spend weeks in Bible training seminars which enriched me greatly.
Invitation to stop
HOWEVER, in the deepest of my heart I often felt an invitation to stop and meet with my Lord alone, in greater intimacy, without being in a hurry, but I found this difficult because I favoured my investment in the church or in other people over these moments alone with the Lord.
Stop to spend time in God’s presence?
Today I have come to realise that God invites all His children to spend time alone in His presence, for He wants them to contemplate Him, to ‘soak up’ His presence and influence; He also desires to speak to them and to touch them at the deepest level of their being so He can heal them. So I ask myself, do we honour His invitations?
Plenty of excuses?
It seems to me that we find plenty of excuses to postpone these very personal and intimate moments of encounter with the Lord. We run around like headless chicken so that, at the end of the day, we feel like we had a fruitful day. And if, finally, there is time for a short break between errands, we turn to God and feel that He must be present at this fleeting time and that He should be very happy with the few minutes we give Him! Is this a caricature or does it rather resemble reality?
Recognising the signals?
If our life resembles the previous depiction, God might give us several signals asking us to stop. Will it be an indication sign? One of prescription? a flashing orange light? or even a red light with the word “Stop”?
Some people recognise the first signals they receive: they understand them, stop and change their way of life. Others go on and on, sometimes leaning on Bible verses to move forward with the same determination… totally human! This was my case.
I have often opted for activism rather than taking time for a break, a moment of withdrawal, of solitude. It was then that, in the sovereignty of God, I experienced several events that forced me to slow down; I was forced to question myself, and with hindsight, I can testify that they were beneficial. It is not God who sends disasters and/or hardship, but sometimes He allows them if they can ultimately contribute to our inner healing, our transformation, our sanctification.
A desert as a special time to hear God
In the Bible, a desert symbolises a trial, a challenge. Going through the desert therefore is a special time, suspended time when God speaks to our hearts like never before, when His presence is so real. These are times when we feel God in a way we have never appreciated. The relationship with Him is intensified in a decisive way.
“Therefore, behold, I will draw her out and lead her into the wilderness, and speak comfortably unto her – to her heart.” (Hosea 2:14)
God is on your side, folks! Have a nice day!