This post is by Cindy Chen.
Recently I attended a conference for lay leaders hosted by my home church. I had been battling a feeling of being ashamed for my lack: my lack of time, my lack of intentionality, and my lack of discipline. I saw all these other people from around the world leading in ways that I was not, and found myself feeling like I was behind. As a 40-something grown woman, I should know better, I should be better equipped, I should be a better prayer warrior. I should be able to spend 10 minutes in prayer and the Bible every day, shouldn’t I?
Through the weekend I found my heart becoming more and more tender. It was not from learning something new, not because I was told how to be, and it was definitely not due to my sense of inadequacy, but my heart was touched by the gentle comfort of the Holy Spirit.
He reminded me:
“I am with you always.” Matt 28:20
“The Father will send the Holy Spirit, who will teach you all things.” John 14:26
“Where can I go from your Spirit?” Psalm 139
“The sheep follow [the shepherd] for they know his voice.” John 10:4
The reassurance was not that I can pull myself out of a slump, but that one who is seeking God can not miss him. I have not missed Him. He has been my strength all of my days, and will continue to be the one I cling to. He was drawing me again “with cords of compassion, with the bands of love… as one who eases the yoke..” Hosea 11:4.
I had been compressing God into a morning quiet time, a set of rules about checking off a list, and when I get caught in that trap of thinking that’s it, guilt overshadows the ways God has met with me. He is the One I lean on a thousand ways each day–even if I had missed study for a few weeks. He can meet me in study, but that is not his primary residence. His primary residence is within the hearts of His people, where He rules as king. The kingdom of God is like an absurd idea in which the God of the universe comes to dwell in weak people to demonstrate his all-surpassing power. (2 Corinthians 4:7)
Even though I have the opportunity to contribute to these writings, I don’t have God Time, Move Time, and Plan Time down to a science. I struggle with seasonal transitions, get caught up in handling the urgent and land in bed at the end of the day wondering if I did anything that mattered.
The truth is there is not a single moment of our lives that the Holy Spirit is not present and available to you and me. He is so much bigger and better than we imagine. It’s easy to think that He sits at the sidelines while we are the main characters of our own shows, and we can call on Him as we need. But there is no more opposite reality. He is working all the time, in fact, Jesus came to join us in the flesh in order to cooperate with what His Father was already doing. (John 5:17) He is the main character, and we have access to everything He is at all times. When we grasp this, our days can turn inside out.
It is vital to put in the time, to carve out minutes in the morning, or the evening, or over lunch, to deliberately seek God’s will and read His word. We can make plans to align our days with what He shows us. It is also vital to remember that we don’t bring God to our days. He is already there. The joy is in participating with Him.
Our God Time is all the time because time belongs to him.
Cindy Chen is a wife, mom (of four: preschooler to teen), and preschool teacher, who lives outside of Atlanta, GA. She spends her time cutting crusts off sandwiches, looking for matching shoes, waiting in carpool line, and learning about whatever seems interesting each week. Her favorite thing is when great theological truths of the Word are applied with grace and invigorate our seemingly insignificant daily moments.
Jumpstart your mornings with my free workshop and the 3-Minute Morning Kit.