It was 5:30 in the morning and I was in no mood to be awake. Starting at 4:00, the demands had been relentless: feeding, changing, settling, feeding again… and now this.
Every time I turned the light off to go back to sleep, my precious six week old daughter would scream her protest. My lamp would flick on again, and I would check her. But the crying stopped. So I would try to snatch some more sleep.
No sooner would my head hit the pillow than a little eruption of sadness would begin. The light would come on and the munchkin would smile in victory. All she wanted was a light on so she could see that I was there. At 6:15, we both dozed off with the lamp illuminating my tired face.
Sometimes, I feel like that with God. I don’t want to read the Bible or pray for the million things on my prayer list, I just want to sit and know that He is there. I want to be able to simply enjoy His presence, gazing into His face.
It is a perfectly valid way of connecting with God. The Bible contains a beautiful blessing in Numbers chapter 6, verse 24-26, “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.” It’s a lovely expression of God’s face shining on us as we rest in Him. So why don’t we do it more often?
The lights are off
My daughter couldn’t see me in the dark; that’s why she was crying. It’s easy to forget to sit with God because of the “dark” in life. By “dark”, I don’t mean something sad or difficult. I’m talking about anything in everyday life that blocks my vision of God.
Being busy is the number one thing that prevents us from being still before our Maker. Other things in life take priority. These are often good things, perhaps even godly things like serving God in our church community.
It’s all well and good to be doing things for God. The trouble is how will you get to know Him if you never sit down and be with Him? Most people would agree that being a new mum is pretty high up on the scale of busyness. There just doesn’t seem to be time to sit and be still. However, it tends to be that when we are busiest, that’s when we need to spend the most time sitting with God.
Meditate on God
The secular world has confirmed in recent years that mindfulness, the art of paying attention to one’s feelings and emotions, is greatly beneficial for our health and well-being. Despite having origins in Eastern religions such as Buddhism, the basic principle can be applied to our relationship with God.
The concept of mindfulness is that we might build awareness of our environment. For a Christian, what better way to do this than dwell on God, Creator of All? Psalm 46, verse 10 even tells us, “Be still, and know that I am God…”
My suggestion is that we take a time-out and meditate on Him. Ponder His great works. Explore a facet of His character. Or simply listen to your own heartbeat and thank God for it. Be still.
These methods of focusing on God can put life back in perspective for us. It’s true that life can be hectic and stressful. Know that God is bigger than those issues at work or the crazy family schedule. Know that He is there, just waiting for us to cry for Him, and then gaze into His face. Be still.
Lucinda is a full-time mum and Girls Brigade leader. She enjoys teaching Latin, cooking, and going for walks.
Lucinda Glover’s previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/lucinda-glover.html