Grabbing Hold of God Moments
by Jennifer Slattery (reprinted with permission)
A while back, after one particularly crabby day, my daughter looked at me and said, “You forgot to pray today, didn’t you?”
Standing in our kitchen, schooled by a child, I realized how much truth she packed in that statement. Amidst the hustle and bustle of my day, I’d inadvertently left God out of the equation, and it showed. The peace that surpassed understanding? Forgot to grab hold of it. The strength made perfect in weakness? Missed that one, too. By neglecting to connect with my Power-source, I’d trudged through my day ill-equipped and overwhelmed.
Our “pick yourself up by your bootstraps” generation tells us to work harder, strive longer, grit your teeth and get it done, but God flips that. He says, “Slow down and come to me, and let me guide you through life’s hurdles.” God never intended for us to walk through life alone. He’s always there, watching, ready to help us move from stress to peace and fear to victory. All we need to do is abide. He’ll take care of the rest.
The 19th century theologian, E.M. Bounds, said, “The men who have done the most for God in this world have been early on their knees. He who fritters away the early morning, its opportunity and freshness, in other pursuits than seeking God will make poor headway seeking Him the rest of the day. If God is not first in our thoughts and efforts in the morning, He will be in the last place the remainder of the day.”
Fritters away the morning. When I neglect my prayer time, that’s what I do. Run around, expending a large amount of energy, accomplishing little. And yet, when I take the time to pause and connect with God, He stills my heart, fills me with truth and clarity, and helps me navigate through the chaos of my day.
I’ve learned when it comes to my relationship with God, the age-old phrase, “It’s about quality, not quantify” rings true. As a mom, most days I don’t have the time to lock myself in a prayer closet, but I do have snippets of time sprinkled throughout my day that can be grabbed and cherished. It’s about recognizing and catching those continual God-moments.
Most often, it’s a mind-set, a realization that God’s there, ever-present. It’s about inviting God to do life with me, whether I’m cleaning toilets or singing praises. Because I’m easily distracted by the here and now, I often use little reminders to help me pause and focus on God.
I tape notes on my steering wheel with a verse or a prayer request. This turns the countless minutes spent waiting at stoplights into cherished God-moments that add peace to the rest of my day.
I set reminders on my phone. When the alarm chimes, I pause for a minute or two to talk to God or remember a verse from my morning Bible reading.
I tape a challenge or “life-change” verse on the inside of our door so that I can pause to commit my day to God each time I leave the house.
I ask God for help turning my day over to Him, clinging to the promise of James 4:8 which says, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” This reminds me that God is always there, whether I feel His presence or not.
And finally, I toss out all-or-nothing thinking that tells me prayer must be formal to be effective. When thinking of my relationship with God, I’m often reminded of my marriage. It doesn’t take much for my heart to connect with my husband. On his days off, I enjoy just having him around, whether we are talking or co-existing. It’s about doing life together and knowing we’re united.
I believe our spiritual walk can be strengthened if we view it in the same way. God loves it when we carve out time in our busy day to rest at His feet, but He longs for more. He wants to be a part of our entire day. He’s already there, watching us, loving us. The goal, then, is to recognize His presence, grab hold of it, and cherish it.
Jennifer Slattery writes for Christ to the World Ministries, the Christian Pulse, and Samie Sisters and is the marketing manager of the literary website, Clash of the Titles. Find out more about her and her writing at her devotional blog, Jennifer Slattery Lives out Loud.