Thursday, February 16, 2012

In the Dry Times

It has been awhile since I shared my quiet time routine.  Today I would like to do that again  in the hopes that you are encouraged to have your own daily time with the Lord.

Deb's quiet time space
My time begins in God's word.  I like to start here because I feel I need to listen to the Lord before I jump in with all of my thoughts.  I am reading through the Bible with a plan that includes an Old Testament, New Testament, Psalm, and Proverb selection each day. As I love to journal, I have a small three-ring notebook that I keep with me as I read and pray.  It is divided into sections, the first ones being, O.T., N.T, Psalms, and Proverbs to correspond with my reading.  I make note of the date and what verses I have read.  Then as I come to something that "jumps" out to me that day, or something that I feel I need to spend some time thinking about, or something that speaks to me about God's character; I write out those Scriptures in the appropriate section.

Some days I write a lot, other days, like yesterday, I write nothing.  I do not like those kind of days.  Usually they have a lot to say about the condition of my heart, which yesterday was really hurting to the point of actually having physical pain.  It was a dry day in the Word; which I really wanted to speak something to me that would heal my hurting heart, but there was nothing.

The next section in my journal is for praise.  Oftentimes what I have read guides my thoughts as I think about God and consider who He is.  Yesterday was not really any different, except that it was one of those days when I had to pull out things from experience and previous reading as I wrote down these words.  "Lord, all authority belongs to You- You taught as one who had authority because You do.  I praise You for you are holy and righteous.  I praise You because You are my source of wisdom and understanding.  I praise You because You are worthy of praise.  You are worthy no matter how I am feeling."  I have learned that on those days when I don't feel like "praising" they are the days when I may need to most of all.  This is a time when I am forced to take my eyes off of myself and think about the One who made me, the One who is really in control of all things.  Interesting things can happen within my soul when I choose to offer up a sacrifice of praise.

I am a sinner in need of a Savior.  The next section of my journal is titled "Confession."  I try to be very honest here for my own sake.  I don't always write down all the details if there is another involved just in case someone ever does pick it up and read it.  But for me, my failings, I write them down.  There is something about seeing them in black and white that keeps me from sugar-coating them and not giving them the attention they deserve.  I can share some of what I wrote yesterday: "I am very tempted to stop living today-not literally, but rather forget my commitments and responsibilities and withdraw from everything.  How long, O Lord...O, Father, help me not to sin in my response."

Requests are the next section in my journal.  Usually it is full of all kinds of things for myself and others.  Yesterday it was simply, "Guide me, O Thou great Jehovah."

As I begin to wrap up my prayer time I come to the section labeled "Thanks."  A thankful heart is something well worth developing.  All I could muster yesterday was, "Thank You for showing me what love is."  Sometimes that is all we can do.  Sometimes it is hard to see the beauty of a rose when you are caught in the thorns, but we must try.

Finally I come to a section labeled, "Listen."  This is perhaps the most difficult thing to master.  To quiet my heart and just listen.  How do I differentiate between my thoughts and the Spirits?  Practice.  I write whatever comes to my mind here, sometimes it gives me direction for the day, sometimes an action I need to take in reaching out to someone, sometimes a warning that keeps me on my toes during the day.  Sometimes, like yesterday, it is an encouraging word to not give up, to not lose hope.

By placing myself at the feet of the Lord yesterday I was able to move on with my day and continue living.  There was even some progress made in the thing that had brought me so low.  By the end of the day I was feeling pretty blessed and encouraged.  There is still an issue before me, but it does not seem insurmountable today.  I really feel that God answered my simple request, "Guide me."  I have no doubt that my day would have looked very different if I had not spent this time with the Lord yesterday.  I would have not awakened filled with peace this morning.  If not for that time I would be in a pretty dark place.  I am writing you this morning because I want you to know that a daily quiet time is not just something to check off of your to do list.  It is not something to put off when the day is long and hard.  I am writing you today because sometimes the process seems dry and dull, but if we are faithful despite that--if we choose to be women who sit at His feet and listen to His word anyway--God can work with that and do amazing things.  He wants to lavish His love on you today sweet sister.  Will you let Him?

Grace, Peace, and Mercy,


1 comment:

GrammaGrits said...

Oh, Debra, my dark day was Thursday. But praise the Lord yesterday was better. Some days are overwhelming with uncertainty about what God's doing, not only in my life, but in the lives of those I love. Trust, pray, trust, pray, trust, pray!! Thanks for sharing.