There’s Help and Hope for When We Can’t Find Time To Quiet Our Hearts
Do you like puzzles? I do. Not necessarily the kind made of cardboard but rather “life puzzles.” The things in life that make me think.
Maybe that’s one of the reasons I love spending time in Scripture. It’s full of things that puzzle me––paradoxes galore!
A paradox is “a self-contradictory statement or proposition that when investigated may prove to be well founded or true.”
The other day I found myself contemplating the paradox in Psalm 131:2 MSG:
“I’ve cultivated a quiet heart.”
The word cultivate is a verb. Action is required––even though the desired outcome is rest.
It takes action in our heads as we decide to cultivate a quiet heart. It can also take physical action to pursue a quiet heart. Unfortunately, it’s easy to experience obstacles in both areas.
One of the most challenging mental obstacles to cultivating stillness is the belief that we don’t have time.
My mother described me as the woman who always had one more row to hoe. I think I need to finish my work before I can take the time to “cultivate a quiet heart.”
I’ve found that there are two problems with this line of thinking:
#1 The work may never be done!
#2 Perhaps there’s a more significant work to be done than completing a task.
When it comes to the first challenge, I confess that it bugs me when things aren’t done. But the older I get; the more God reminds me that my idea of done and His idea of done may be two different things.
Regarding the second challenge, I’m learning that the closure I long for may not accomplish a greater purpose. I can’t help but think that God sometimes wants us to leave things unfinished. We allow someone else to step in where we’ve left off. And that can be a good thing.
There are times that we may want to be still. And we would gladly sacrifice the time it takes to pursue it, but there may be physical obstacles that make it difficult.
For some of us, location can be an obstacle. We may think there is literally no place in our life that we can go to be still with God. There is no break room at work. There is no “break room” at home! We can’t conceive of where we would pursue stillness with God!”
Others of us may have physical obstacles that are less about our surroundings and more about our bodies.
Our minds and our hearts are housed in flesh and blood. God intended our bodies to be a gift, but our bodies can betray us in this broken world. It’s easy to become discouraged when it seems as if our bodies sabotage our time with God by yelling so loud we feel like we can’t hear from Him.
Praise be to God; we have reason to hope! When God says He can use all things to work for our good, He means it. Even physical obstacles, sometimes especially physical obstacles.
When I am in need and unsure how to pray, a great launching pad is the names of God.
Jehovah Jireh is the name for our God who provides. Scripture is full of stories of the many ways God is a provider. He supplied food when His people needed it; he dispensed courage when it was lacking. If we are lacking in any physical manner, we can ask Jehovah Jireh to provide.
The reality is that no one cares more about spending time with us than God. So when it is our sincere desire to find a way to cultivate stillness with Him, this is a prayer He loves to answer.
There’s one more challenge that we need to mention. It has less to do with mental or physical issues and more with circumstantial obstacles.
Sometimes, extended periods of stillness may not be a part of the season we are in. Circumstantial obstacles are as much a threat to cultivating quietness of heart as is a passing storm to cultivating a bountiful crop.
Any time, and any kind of time, is an excellent time to spend with God. But we can go through seasons in life in which the quality and quantity of that time is affected by life circumstances.
These are the seasons that we remember that our good God is in our midst. He is with us. He is in us. And our time will come. The trick?
The trick is truth. We must be honest with ourselves. We have to ask Him if we’re rationalizing not having time to be with Him. Or is the reality that we are genuinely facing circumstantial obstacles?
The Holy Spirit will tell us. He has a funny way of being honest.
When we long for time with God, but it just doesn’t seem possible, Jehovah Jireh will provide.
He will meet us right where we are until our circumstances change.
Or, if He convicts us that there really is a way to spend more time with Him, then He will provide both the inspiration and perspiration we’ll need to make it happen.
We just need to ask.
Would you pray with me?