Ah, "time with God"...waking up early before the kids after, of course, a wonderful solid night's sleep; sipping some hot cocoa or hot tea, while leisurely reading my Bible as I watch the sun break over the horizon (preferably over an ocean or a mountain peak). Yeah, that's my ideal "God time" picture. Has it ever happened?....um, I could count on one hand...and one of those times my now sis-in-law kinda arranged it while she watched my son and a couple times while at the beach (DEFINITELY before going to the beach was "work"...with kids ;-)
If you are like me, you've had those moments when you beat yourself up for not having that quiet, serene time with God. I know that after the birth of my first son, I was really going through some time like that - feeling guilty for not plugging into my "prescribed readings" and wondering when I would ever get to "hear from God." It was during one of those moments that God led me to Psalm and reminded me of a favorite verse of mine in Psalm 127..."Children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward." God gently reminded me that this new family was His divine plan...a divine interruption into my interpretation of almost everything!
"God time" for me has never looked quite as picturesque as maybe as I had hoped (and read about for others). Most days, once all of us are awake (and usually when the boys are eating breakfast!), I open my daily email to read my Scriptures for the day. Some other time throughout the day, I'll pick up one of my fave Scripture devotionals.
Inevitably, though, at some point most days, one of my boys will come by my side wanting to know what I'm doing. Honestly, this use to agitate me. "I'm trying to have my blessed time with my Savior! Can I just go into a 'prayer closet' and be left alone?!" Being reminded, though of Psalm 127, I gained new perspective...these blessings...these little guys are divine interruptions. Deuteronomy 6 & 11 remind us of the importance of teaching God's commands to our little ones. Sure, we can have family devotion time, but what about inviting them into "your time", allowing them to see what you are learning from His Word. Allowing them to see you take in His Word shows them It's importance to you. It allows them to see you rejoicing, being encouraged, maybe even working through your own questions. They see the Bible as Living in you. They can see that you enjoy it. We all know that modeling behavior is more effective than just giving suggestions!
This also can lead to opportunities for them to see you minister to others by phone or in person. I was so blessed recently when my precious middle son (2 1/2 y.o.) was playing in the same room when I was talking on the friend with a "sister", trying to encourage and counsel her. I asked if I could pray with her. My son had not really engaged in my conversation. I thought he had "tuned me out" as I had him. But, when I said the words "Dear Heavenly Father"...he stopped. He came over to my lap and laid his head upon it and held my hand (he's my hand holder, btw). It was precious. I had to almost stop mid-sentence to thank God for this beautiful illustration of a child and parent relationship. Priceless.
Why do I say all this? Because I have heard others say and know for myself that sometimes, we as Christians think that if the environment and circumstances aren't right or are heart isn't all into it, we can put off reading God's Love Letter to us hoping for an ideal time or for when our hearts and minds can be completely focused. We don't wanna "just read" if we can't really get something "out of it." Well, guess what? Sometimes you gotta do "hard things"....like practice the exercise of reading or praying in less-than-ideal environments. But you know, you may get much more out of it than you EVER intended...but exactly what your Father has in mind. ;-)
So, if you haven't already, start today...right now, even. Check out last week's post to find a great reading plan. And, be flexible ;-)