For this post, I’d like to talk about how we each connect with our Creator and how that has probably changed for many of us when our routines, or habits, or commitments, or interests have drastically changed. A lot has changed that has been out of our control. Before COVID, we would go to our weekly Bible studies, or read our 5-minute devotional, go to church, and we’d feel on top of the world. Now, we really don’t know if God is here, because we can’t talk about Him to our friends. We filled our lives with distractions and studies ON him, but didn’t take the time to know him. Now, we have time on our hands, and yet, we spend most of it on social media complaining about how we have nothing to do.
The reason we don’t feel connected to God during this pandemic, is because we didn’t take the time to talk to him before all of this hit the fan. I think our lack of schedules has really shown us our priorities; myself included. When something unexpected happens, do we post about it on social media, turn on a feel-good movie (or a sad one, to sit in our feelings), or do we FIRST turn to the one who already knew what was going to happen?
Alright, so now that we’ve admitted to ourselves that maybe our personal relationship with God wasn’t as high a priority than we thought, let’s focus on reconnection and reprioritization. Right now, we have all the time in the world (or at least more than we had before) to set a schedule built on him. Our excuse has to stop being time. Who comes first, God or our perfectly planned out schedule of our “priorities”? Before everyone starts setting your alarms for 5am so you can prove that your relationship is more important than your sleep, let me show you Jesus as an example of connection with God.
Mark 1:35 And in the morning, a great while before day, he rose and went out to a lonely place, and there he prayed.
Mark 6:46: And after he had taken leave of them, he went up on the mountain to pray.
Luke 4:1-2, 14-15. After Jesus was baptized, He spent 40 days praying in the wilderness. After this He was tempted by Satan and then began His public ministry
Mark 6:30-32. Jesus sent the 12 disciples out to do ministry. When they returned, He encouraged them to separate from the people who were following them to rest.
Matthew 14:1-13. After Jesus learned that his cousin John the Baptist had been beheaded, He went away by Himself. Yes, even the Son of God grieves.
Luke 6:12-13. Early in His ministry Jesus spent the whole night alone in prayer. The next day He chose his 12 disciples.
Luke 22:39-44. Hours before Jesus was arrested, He went to the Mt. of Olives and went a short distance away from His disciples to pray. He was in great emotional agony knowing what he was about to face.
God is our first line of defense. He is our mask, so to speak. Personally, I like to start my day, whenever that is, to speak to God. But, that doesn’t mean I’m done for the day, that’s all I need of him and I’ve checked it off my “strive to heaven” list. In any relationship, it’s a continual dance. I make a move and he makes a move. How would our earthly relationships be if we decided to speak to them once per day for only an allotted amount of time, and just abruptly end it? They would probably be very surface level relationships. It’s the same with God. When something exciting, or saddening, or frustrating happens, I rush to tell him. “Can you believe what just happened?!” I yearn for him, and whenever I feel the nudge to talk to him, like we all get, I stop whatever I’m doing and prioritize him. Do you ever get those nudges during the day, or reminders and you say, “Oh, I missed my reading today, I should probably do that”, but never get around to it or do it the next day? What if you stopped whatever you did and talked to God right then?
Another practice I like to live out is focus. Whenever I sit with God and maybe my life is going crazy, I sometimes tend to just word vomit. Now, don’t get me wrong, I know He listens when I speak and he is glad for connection, but again, if all we did when we got together with our friends was word vomit, would that be a great relationship? When I sit with him, I breathe. I breathe and acknowledge that he is Lord. “God whatever is going on right now, this circumstance, cannot overshadow you.” Then I proceed to push my worries to the end or middle of our time together. I wait patiently to bring them before him because truthfully, I need his peace and love and presence more than I need any answers.
These moments, will probably take up more time than you think you have, but I promise these getaway moments with him are worth the time. Time is a sacrifice we will not get to make in heaven; making it all that more precious to God. But start small, this is a life transformation, not a 50-yard dash. (;