The question was asked of me, how did I fit devos into my busy days when I was still in the middle of raising my kids. I need to give you a bit of my history to answer this question.
We had 4 kids in 4 ½ years. During those 4 ½ years we were also starting up our tree nursery. The nursery was not big enough to provide an income yet, so Sheldon was still working on the family farm fulltime and at the nursery when he could. This meant that I was in charge of taking care of most of the customers, watering the trees and shrubs and helping plant when new trees and shrubs came in. This caused a lot of chaos in my life. It was a very intense time for us. I was very busy with both areas and felt like I really had no time for anything else. Devos got pushed to the bottom of my priority list. I knew they were very supposed to be important and I did try to get to them. It seemed like there were always road blocks no matter where I turned. When the older kids were quietly playing and the babies were sleeping I had an opportunity. The question was devos, or one of my beeps like read a novel to escape from reality for just a bit. It seemed if I chose my book I would be able to sit and read for a good ½ hour before I was disturbed. If I picked up my Bible, inevitably it seemed one of the babies would wake up or the older ones would have an issue that needed my attention or the phone would ring or a customer would drive up and I would have to help them. I would get so frustrated! I even tried taking my Bible into the bathroom and locking the kids out. How can you concentrate with crying children on the other side of the door seeing those fat little fingers poking under, trying to get to me. I would cry in frustration “Jesus, you call me to spend time with You. You tell me in Your word that if I draw near to You, You will draw near to me.” Jeremiah 29:1 and 2 Chronicles 15:2b. I lived in this frustration and guilt for years not knowing how to improve my devotional life.
One sermon I remember was on personal time with God. At that time in our church we were allowed questions after the sermon. So, I stood up and asked, how do I do devos when my life is filled with 4 young kids, a husband and a business. They were all legitimate demands on me. My kids need me and so did the plants. If I didn’t water them they would die. If I didn’t help the customers our business wouldn’t grow. My husbands dream would not be fulfilled without my help. I felt trapped. The pastor’s answer was “God knows our hearts and understands our circumstances.” He told me that there was grace for me and that I didn’t need to worry about getting to my devos during this time in my life. God understood. I left that morning with a bad taste in my mouth. It just didn’t sit right. I couldn’t find anything in scripture to back up what he said. I didn’t know how to get this right. All that rang in my head was if I don’t draw near neither would He. It was about relationship. What I put in, I get back. I wasn’t putting much in and I was feeling very dry.
The importance of my God relationship was confirmed to me through listening prayer about 7 years ago. I was at a conference and the speaker told us to ask Jesus for healing in our lives. So I got started with my list- arm, neck, back, jaw… suddenly I heard Jesus’ voice inside me. “You are focusing on the wrong area for healing, focus on healing your thoughts.” Then He rocked my world by asking me this question, “Cynthia, you don’t spend time with Me every day. Who do you think you would be if you had spent time with Me every day for all these years?” Then He was silent. I really didn’t want to answer. I knew that if I had been intentional and put Jesus in my day, every day, I would already be a completely different person. I would be more mature, my marriage would be much healthier. I would have seen Jesus move mountains because I was intentional in moving them with Him. I would have received more strategies for becoming a more loving wife and mom. Every area of my life would have been impacted and in a much healthier place. I confessed to Jesus my sin. Thinking that I needed time for me during those days was on the top of my list. What about me? Didn’t I deserve down time? Time just to be alone?
Today my answer to that would be yes, I did, but my perspective of what that looked like was wrong. Alone time and time just for me should always include Jesus. Jesus has taught me that my perspective needs to be eternally based. I need to remember how short my time here on earth really is. This is my earthly experience, not my lifetime. This is a mission, not my destiny. My time on earth is going to impact my eternity… forever! Oh, how I wish I got this concept 20 years ago! As a young mom who felt like she didn’t have another drop left to give to anything but work and babies, I needed to see that my mission was so much more. I needed to bring Jesus into everything I did. I needed to focus on Him at all times. Pray without ceasing it says in the word. This means pray for my baby as I nurse, as I play with my kids, as I help customers, water plants, prepare food, do dishes and laundry. I would have benefited so much if I had been asking for strategies While I pray, I can also memorize scripture. Post my prayers on the mirrors in every room and on the walls around the house. Post the scripture I am memorizing. It says hide the word in my heart so I will not depart from it. I didn’t do this and I am forever sorry that I didn’t. I would be so much further in my relationship with Jesus if I had. I thank Jesus that He forgives and we can try again. So I tried again and moved forward. I have learned that I can’t function without Jesus being a part of everything I do. I need His insight and it is always available to me. I am a slave of Christ like Paul talked about. I trust Him to lead me where He needs me. I will go because I have built trust in Him. I have seen Him move my mountains and do miracles in my life. I know He loves me. He has shown me in so many ways.
I want to leave you with a challenge. Meditate on Malachi 3:10. “Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do, ‘says the lord of heaven’s Armies, ‘I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in! Try it! Put me to the test!” Tithes can be so many things. When we take time in our day to focus on Jesus, this is a tithe. Jesus is asking you to put this to the test. Try and see what God will do in your life when you genuinely want Him. When you seek and love Him with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, you will see change. You will receive blessings beyond all that you could think up and imagine. Put Him to the test! He is waiting for you!
Today’s post is from Cynthia Falk