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It’s humbling, yet necessary to admit that I was wrong.
In an attempt to thwart some of my personal expectations, to remove the pressure of perfection, I released myself from spending significant amounts of time with God every day.
What I was trying to do was peel back the pressure that makes me feel like a bad Christian when I say a quick ‘hello’ before having to race out of bed and into the shower.
What I ended up doing was isolating myself.
In the midst of one of the most confusing times I’ve felt in a long time, a time full of anxiety and questions, I knew that what I needed more than anything was peace. But by capping my time alone with the Lord, I was keeping myself from just that.
I was standing quietly in the back of a room last night, as my boyfriend led a group of mission trip leaders in worship. I wanted my mind to be focusing, singularly and reverently, on the Lord, allowing his peace and presence to wash over me. But instead my mind was a hotbed of those familiar anxieties, all of the ‘should’s’ and ‘what if’s’ back in full force.
I found a couch in the back and curled up, willing my mind to get quiet, but my will was no match for those fear-filled questions.
I stood up again as the notes became familiar, the words echoing my heartbeat of the last year.
“No place I’d rather be than here in your love…”
I joined the group, singing the words, breathing deeply and trying to calm my frantic heart, when my mind was suddenly filled with a truth that I hadn’t understood.
“The solution to fear isn’t answers. It’s Jesus.”
In an attempt to shrug away shame and harsh expectations, I set myself ‘free’ from spending a concentrated amount of intentional time with God. But that was the opposite of what I should have done.
While shame should never be a part of the equation, I realized that I deeply need the Lord.
I realized that every other interest, obligation and responsibility should come second to that precious time with God each morning.
I realized that I had been desperately seeking peace, frantically searching out answers, when those weren’t the things that I should have been searching for.
I need Jesus.
I need as much time as I can get with my God. I need his words to soak into my skin like a thick, luxurious lotion. I need his character and love for me to be etched into my heart. I need the stories of his faithfulness to be at the front of my mind and for his presence to be that warm blanket of peace that’s wrapped around my shoulders.
Without him, any form of ‘peace’ is thin and insufficient. Without him, my peace comes from an answer that quells the ache just for a moment, until my fearful mind punches through the answer, the anxiety raging on.
Peace doesn’t come from us… it doesn’t come from breathing deeply, from having every kind of insurance or even from having all of the answers. Peace comes from God, and it’s through seeking him that we find it.
So without an attempt to be overly clever with a double negative, I’m throwing that ‘to don’t’ out. Replacing it with a ‘to do.’ Not because that’s what ‘good Christians’ do, not because God’s going to be mad if I don’t. But because I know that more than any other resolution, I deeply need this one.
To do: Spend as much time with the Lord as possible.