A Mother's Perspective on Time With God

On the bookshelf next to my bed sit several devotionals written specifically for moms.  Just a sampling of what could take up an entire bookshelf in a Christian bookstore.  Here are some common trends among them: the title or description mentions the word “busy”, the devotionals are short, and the books are small.  Oh, and the covers have some sort of peaceful picture, trying to help you get to that peace inside.  I’m grateful for these books and I appreciate the desire to help moms get some time with the Lord.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people encouraging mothers of little ones (whether it was me or someone else) that God understands our stage of life.  We shouldn’t feel like we’re failing God because we can’t get in a full bible study and prayer time every day.  As someone who struggles with the “I should be...” mentality, this advice has helped to calm some unnecessary guilt and condemnation.

However, lately I’ve been thinking, “but when I’m going crazy and I’m overwhelmed, isn’t that the time when I need quality time with my Jesus the most?”  So, I’ve been wrestling with this.  Is it helpful and right to tell moms that 10 minute devos are good if that’s all you can do right now?  I don’t think there’s an easy or “right” answer to that. 

Here’s what I’ve realized, though.  If I could be fully convinced, 24-7, that my time with God is my lifeline in the intense, always on, no sick days or vacations life of motherhood in the early years, then I don’t think finding time for Him would be a problem.  Because, let’s face it, it’s not for Him, it’s for me!  I NEED it.  Psalm 119:103 says, “How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!”  David says in Psalm 63, “Oh God you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.”  Oh, that my soul would yearn for the Word and the comfort of my Heavenly Father as my body yearns for the ice cream!

So if I’m wondering, “Should I give myself the young mother pass, and relax my guilt,” then I’m missing the mark.  First of all, there is no need for guilt, regardless.  Jesus does understand what’s going on in our lives, whether it be busyness from motherhood or work or whatever is filling up our lives.  And God wants to help us, like the Good Father that He is.  How can He, though, if we don’t go to Him.  The effects of continually pushing off time with the Lord may not be evident yet, but eventually you will see it.

Secondly, there’s no need for legalism.  Just grace.  Always grace.  Sometimes making sure we have our daily quiet time with the Lord can be legalistic because it becomes an item on a checklist instead of the result of our desperate need.  Jesus does not offer condemnation, but grace and forgiveness when we repent.  Plus, there’s no guarantee that if we spend a certain amount of time devoted to Bible reading and prayer, then we will have a better day.  God doesn’t seem to follow these formulas we put out for Him.  My time with the Lord is not always going to look like it did when I was in college, when I got lost in my studies and emerged from the coffee shop 3 hours later.  But whatever it looks like, I need it and I need it every day.

“I lift up my eyes to the hills.  From where does my help come? My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth.”
Psalm 121:1-2

What is Truth?

"Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world.  If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm.”  Therefore Pilate said to Him, “So You are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say correctly that I am a king.  For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth.  Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.”  Pilate said to Him, “WHAT IS TRUTH?” (John 18:36-38)

Whether he realized it or not, Pilate was asking the most fundamental question at the core of every human heart; What is truth?

Since the dawn of creation when “God formed man from the dust of the earth and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life” (Genesis 2:7), man was created to live in unbroken relationship with God.  Adam and Eve knew and worshiped God in “Spirit and in Truth” (John 4:23), as Jesus told the Samaritan woman the Father desires.

Deception and sin had not entered into their world because they had not yet eaten from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Until that point, they had only known the truth and goodness of God, and not the deception and evil of satan.  When man sinned, “his eyes were opened” (Genesis 3:7), and he no longer possessed only the knowledge of good, but had now also gained the knowledge of evil.

The heart of man was corrupted. From that moment on, good and evil were both part of the human experience, making it difficult for man to navigate through the waters of deception to find the truth about God.  Before the Fall, man possessed a pure knowledge of truth through relationship with God Himself. Today truth is still only found through relationship with God in the person of Jesus Christ.  Jesus himself is the embodiment of truth. He says of himself, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me” (John 14:6).

Man may try through science, philosophy and religion to find truth, but he will never find it apart from Christ.  Only through Jesus can we know the truth about God, and find the meaning and purpose for our lives. Today through education, social media and entertainment, we are constantly bombarded with different messages, all trying to influence what we believe is true.  In today’s postmodern world, truth itself is on trial.  Moral relativists tell us we can make our own truth, and in our pluralistic society, there are plenty of “truths” to choose from.

We see the word of God spoken through the prophet Isaiah fulfilled in our day, “Justice is turned back, And righteousness stands far away; For truth has stumbled in the street, And uprightness cannot enter” (Isaiah 59:14)

The incredible irony here is that Pilate was asking God Himself, the living Word of Truth, the question that Jesus specifically came into the world to answer.  In fact, Jesus, knowing the heart of Pilate, preemptively answered his question saying, “For this purpose I have been born, and for this purpose I have come into the world, to testify to the truth.” (vs. 37)

Awake, Watch & Pray!

Awake, Watch & Pray!

Jesus was about to face the greatest trial of His earthly life. In fact, it was the greatest trial anyone had ever, or would ever face in all eternity. This moment was the culmination of all that God had promised His people. Jesus’ response to this moment would determine the fate of all humanity.  However, Jesus understood that He needed to be supernaturally strengthened through prayer if He was to endure the coming trial...