Okay folks, this is my annual WOO-HOO devotion. If you have read something similar to this before, I am sorry. God put this on my heart so He wants you to hear it again.
Several years ago after arriving in Texas I got really sick and ended up in the Emergency Room. After some testing and medicine it was discovered I had a knot close to my thyroid. I was to do a follow up with my doctor. My doctor sent me on to a Thyroid Doctor (I know there is a technical term, but I want you to be able to understand my devotions and besides that I can’t remember the term). This doctor did some more testing and found I had nodules on my thyroid. What they found once they got in was a parathyroid was wrapped around one of my thyroids and they both had to come out. I had to go on to a daily dose of medicine for the rest of my life. I am not a pill taker. I can take a pill that is not the problem. The problem is I can’t remember to take them. The doctor stressed it was important for me to take this pill daily and I couldn’t forget. As I committed to take this pill I realized another thing about this particular medicine I had to wait an hour before eating my breakfast. So back then before medicine I would get up get my tea to get me going, eat my breakfast and then turn on TV and watch one of the morning TV programs, finally at some point turning off the TV and start my daily work. Not a bad routine. Not a good one either. Now I had the problem of what am I going to do while waiting to take my pill? I could still do my thing: get up get my cup of tea, watch TV for an hour and then eat breakfast and then get started. But, something just didn’t seem right. Watching TV was no longer a desire of mine. So how was I to fill my hour? We had only been in Texas for a few years. I love the weather. One of the things I learned to love was in the Spring as soon as it got warm enough for me I would go outside on my back porch sit in my rocker and rock (ask my husband and he’d tell you I am off my rocker half the time). I loved that time. My husband is at work and I have no children. So, for me it was pure quiet time. I could listen to the birds. I just felt at peace.
I had always done the Upper Room for my devotion each morning. About five minutes and it’s done. As I grew deeper into my relationship God began to impress upon me to dig a little deeper into the Bible. I soon found myself taking my pill and then planting myself outside on the porch to do my devotions. After a little while I would sit and be still. It was amazing God began to speak to me, not with an audible voice, but with quiet nudging. He’d give me devotion material, like the one about an ant, or my flowers, or a number of things. I began to see areas of my life that needed changing. I began to read more out of my Bible. Then God would impress upon me to read a certain book and it would be something I really needed to learn. As time went by I soon found the hour went by fast. There are some days I must admit I sit studying and reading longer than an hour. I love my time with God and His word. Now I will admit in the summer I have a more difficult time doing the outside thing when God heats up our part of the world. So what do I do then, I come inside and turn everything off and find a nice quiet place in my living room. God is still there with me only in a different environment. I miss the out of doors when it gets too hot or when the weather begins to get too chilly for me.
Well, today I was able to be out in my comfort zone. I was able to do my devotions. I was thinking about my next devotion when God shared with me what it was He wanted me to share. I politely told Him I do that every year and I heard, “Yes, but you have new readers and some of the old hasn’t started this yet, keep after them.”
So here we go again. I can’t begin to tell you how important in this day and age to find your quiet time space. It may be outside early in the morning, it may be in bed before you get up; it may be in the living room or may be a close park bench. Jesus did a lot of mountain praying, Luke 6:12 says this: “One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God.” Matthew 14:23, “After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone…” He found His quiet space. We need the same thing; a place to go off and be by ourselves to pray, listen and be still. I have found this is some of my best times with God.
I love my mornings; now grant it, it is usually around 7. I am not an early riser, unless of course we are headed to Indiana to see my family. You may be a night person and would prefer to do a night quiet time. May be night time is the only time you have because you have children or a husband. You might get up at the crack of dawn and love to watch the sun come up. You see it don’t matter when you do it along as you do it. The important thing is you do it. You get in a routine and then you stick to it. It won’t come easily and naturally. It’s something that takes time and practice. Anything we want to make a habit of doing takes time, practice and effort. Also, Satan will be there to discourage you all along the way. I figure if Jesus needed that time then I must need it also. It can jump kick your day or end your day on a high. I take an hour or sometimes longer. If you want to get in this habit don’t feel you have to start off with an hour. Begin small and as you do it you will find time will expand without you noticing it.
I do some of my best studying at that time. I may read a book (by a religious author), I may just get my Bible out and read, I have a Bible App on my tablet and I have daily devotions I do. But, then there are times that God says, “Be still.” Psalm 46:10 says, “He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” There are times He will impress upon me to just be quiet and listen. When I take the time to just stop and listen I can sense His direction in my life. There are other times the problems of this world really get to me so I just pray and God and I have a conversation on how things are in this sometimes crazy world and how I would like for them to be. I know some people are into journaling. I would love to do that, but have not made a commitment to do that. In your quiet time you might find journaling your thoughts to be a helpful practice. Seeking God first in your life is what counts then I believe He will guide you into what He wants you to do with your quiet time.
Finally, I know some of you are retired. Some of you have told me, “Me and my husband or wife have morning devotions.” That’s great I am glad you do, but I still think independently you should each have your own quiet times; times when you get to share with God on your own or time for God to share with you. If you notice Jesus was alone when He went to the mountains to pray. Being alone with God is important.
You will need to turn off phones, TV and anything else that is a distraction. I don’t answer my phone or play games, or do anything. This is strictly God’s time. When I am on vacation to my children’s homes I don’t get this time. I hear little voices in the morning say often times to their mother, “Is grandma up yet, when is she getting up?” That is how I start my day. And I finish collapsing in bed after having spent time playing with little ones as well as big ones. What I have noticed is how much I miss my quiet time with God. I can really tell when I have that time and when I don’t. There are rare times here in Texas that I don’t get to have my time and I really miss it and my day doesn’t go as smoothly.
I encourage you to find your quiet space, to spend each day in the Lord and to really stop and listen. I have grown to cherish this time. It usually is a rough start, but I am here to tell you it’s worth it. My life has been enriched in spending time alone with God. If your faith isn’t where you want it to be, if your walk isn’t as smooth as you would like it, then I encourage you to start a quiet time; apart from the noise of this world, wipe your mind clear of all the things that need to be done and just be with God.
Woo hoo spring is here and I have my porch back for a little while. I can’t wait to see what God has in store for me.
Dear Lord: Thank you for my surgery. Thank you that I was forced to take medicine and wait for an hour before I eat breakfast. Thank you for my back porch and my quiet space. You never disappoint me you always are there to greet me each morning. I love the talks we have, I love the directions you give me for my life and I love just being with you. I pray others may find this as rewarding as I do. Guide them and direct them as they begin spending time with you. Amen