A few weeks ago I was facing my Bible with zero desire. Here's a peek into my journal:
"When I've reached the point of efficiency in my relationship with You—multitasking, speed-reading, "fitting it in" between other things—I know I've lost sight of the one thing alone: finding joy in You. Forgive me. Change my heart, o God; make me hunger and thirst for You alone."
Do you ever feel that way?
Like you're rushing from one thing to the next, checking off your Bible reading because you know you should but you don't really want to? Or maybe you've stopped praying because it feels like nothing's happening anyway?
First off Reader, you're not alone.
I hope you know there's a whole community of readers just like you who want to love God and know Him more, even when they don't. We're in this together.
But secondly, we're not stuck here. We have a choice.
God, in His goodness and mercy, is always reaching out to us, calling us, inviting us to come and receive all He has to give us.
Sometimes, we just need to slow down long enough to listen. And hear. And receive.
So how do we do that?
For me, it's looked a lot like this:
- Palms up: just like in my journaled entry above, I need to stop and lift my helpless hands to God. Honest confession frees the soul from pretending. (Here's a short video on how I practically do this.)
- Screens down: when my desire for God is waning, it's usually because I'm stuffing my soul with other things. Silencing the cacophony of screens quiets my soul to hear from God.
- Get outside: With an open heart, I try to get out and walk with God. Nature proclaims God's glory, if only we had eyes to see and ears to hear. (Here's something that will help.)
This last one is admittedly hard for me, because I'm an indoors person. But over the years I've found that getting outside for a few minutes, even on the freezing cold days of snowy Ohio, changes my perspective.
It's like my soul becomes more aware of God's presence when I'm out in nature.
So I'm taking my cue from Job:
“But ask the beasts, and they will teach you;the birds of the heavens, and they will tell you;or the bushes of the earth, and they will teach you;and the fish of the sea will declare to you.Who among all these does not knowthat the hand of the Lord has done this?In his hand is the life of every living thingand the breath of all mankind." (Job 12:7-10 ESV)
So that's what I'm committing to doing this week: palms up, screens down, and getting outside. Will you join me?
May we slow down long enough to hear God's voice and allow Him to call us back to Himself in loving adoration.
Added to My Reading List: Turning of Days
Whenever something doesn't come naturally to me, I look to learn from someone who can teach me. And this practice of listening to what creation says about its Creator? ...I need help. So I'm adding this lovely collection of essays from Moody Publishers to my TBR list.
What divine wonders might the birds and the flowers, the moon and the stars, share with us? I invite you to pick up a copy of Turning of Days by Hannah Anderson, and let's start listening to the whispers of God's creation, together.
Quote to Ponder
"If you do all the talking when you pray,
how will you ever hear God's answers?"A. W. Tozer
Freebie of the Week: Lenten Family Activity Guide
I can't believe Lent has already begun! If you're looking for a gentle guide to help you savor the Gospel story of Jesus this season, I hope you pick up a copy of my Lenten devotional, Uncovering the Love of Jesus
And if you have kids or grandkids with you, make sure you download my free Lenten Family Activity Guide: 30+ Ways to Celebrate Jesus at Easter. Each week you'll find several fun, creative, and reflective ways to slow down and center your hearts on Jesus this season. (And if you try any ideas in this guide, do email me and let me know!)
Creative Devotional Idea
One of the best ways I've found to quiet my mind is a prayer method called "Palms Down, Palms Up." I walk you through it in this short video, but here's the quick explanation: find a quiet place, where you won't be interrupted, and be still before the Lord. When you find a troubling thought coming in to mind, take hold of it and place it into God's loving hands. Then receive in exchange the gifts of peace, stillness, and love He offers you. For more details, check out the video, and let me know if you try it!
With much joy,
PS Lots of suggestions in this newsletter. Which one(s) are you going to try this week? Reply to this email and let me know! I look forward to reading your email, and I'll reply to as many as I can! :)