Recently I came across an amazing blog called, Gracefullmama. It is written by a missionary wife in Indonesia. Her blogs are great and full of wonderful stories and lessons. As I was reading it the other day, one article in particular struck me. In this blog she spoke about how she gets up at 4:40 every morning, so she can have time with the Lord before her crew of 5 children arise. As I read this, I was amazed as well as convicted. For it seems I always have good intentions to get up earlier than everyone else, but most of the time, this just doesn’t happen. I applaud her for the discipline and determination she has to do this and I’m sure there are countless others out there who do the same. Yet, in the past few years of working with college students I know that this is not always a reality for all. Many like me have good intentions but a difficult time following through. On such days, it is easy to get down on oneself and think well I blew it, I guess I will try again tomorrow, instead of taking the time later in the day or before bed to have a quiet time. We have this mindset that if we didn’t do as we planned, then we will just not do it at all.
Now I am a firm believer that morning is best and that we do indeed need to start our days off with the Lord. The Bible tells us of Jesus who got up early to go and pray. If at all possible I do believe we should strive to follow His example. Yet the reality for many is that because they failed to get up early, they forfeit their time with the Lord.
Years ago, I too fell into this scenario. With two small boys and a newborn, it was indeed my desire to get up early to have a quiet time, yet, after being up a couple of times in the night to feed Lauren or deal with a sick child, I just gave up. I was discouraged thinking, how am I suppose to have a quiet time. “Lord, I want to have time with you, but I don’t know how.” During this time, the Lord taught me a valuable lesson, one I have recently been reminded of. That He isn’t so much interested in what time I meet with Him, as He is with the fact that I just make the time that day to do it.
Since being in Korea, Lauren has never slept really well. It is a rare thing that she sleeps all through the night, she wakes up for one reason or another and wants me to come in her room until she falls back to sleep (a habit I began, shame on me). Needless to say, it is rare I get a solid night of sleep. So, getting up early isn’t always an easy thing for me. Yet, I have found other times that work great during the day when the boys are gone to their afternoon classes and Lauren has a bit of play time. Is it ideal? Not really, but the Lord meets with me anyway and I have time to rest in His presence and commune with Him.
Many I have met in Korea are discouraged with the concept of having a quiet time. They don’t know how, where to start, and many start with good plans for how they envision it to be. Yet, after a few failed attempts just give up. Again, I just want to stress the importance that you just do it. Make the time, take the effort to have your time with the Lord. If mornings work best, then do it in the am., if afternoons work best, then do it then, for some before bed is their best time, and again I say do it. God can and will meet with you morning, noon, or night. He loves you and wants to meet with you. Don’t be discouraged, don’t give up. Just do it!!!
1. Have a plan, when, where and how you plan to meet with the Lord (morning, noon, or night) *Remember if you fail to keep plan, don’t beat yourself up, pick another time that day. *The plan is not meant to be a burden, it’s meant to help.
2. Have a Bible reading plan. Again, if you are just reading here, there and everywhere, you will get discouraged or find times when you don’t know what to read, so you don’t read at all. Today, I use the Chronological One Year Bible, each day I know what I will be reading and it’s not too much to take in. The events are told in order of how they happened. There are many One Year Bibles out there or you can go online and find a one year Bible reading plan you can follow on your own. I find this helpful, b/c I always know what is next. Years ago, I would read 2 chapters out of old testament starting in Genesis and 2 out of the new testament starting in Mathew and a Psalm. As I said, there are many good reading plans available, find one that works for you and just do it :-).
3. Before you begin reading, PRAY! Ask God to search your heart, confess any sin He brings to mind. *Remember, sin separates us from God, we must be right with the Lord to hear from Him. Ask Him to speak to you. After reading, close in prayer based on what God has shown you in reading time.
4. Start small, if at first you spend only 10-15 minutes, fine. Over time, the Lord will grow this time and show you how to make it work.
God desires an intimate relationship with us. Yet, to have that we must spend time with Him, both in prayer and in the study of His word. Whatever you do, don’t give into the temptation to forfeit your time with God. As you make time for Him, He will give your greater desires to study, to pray and He will always bless your efforts!