I began understanding and walking in the Christian life as an eighteen-year-old college student. By the grace of God I became a member of a small church that taught the spiritual disciplines.
I remember the first day I came to church and a man asked me, “How long have you been a Christian?” (“Three weeks” I replied) and then came the question, “How has your quiet time with the Lord been?” (I answered, “What’s a quiet time?”).
I was exhorted by my Christian teachers to pray and fast regularly, memorize scripture, share the gospel and, in short, approach the Christian life seriously and methodically. For a young woman straight from a liberal, evolutionary, hippie, godless childhood, this was just what I needed to develop a spiritual backbone. I was constantly challenged and it was hard!
I remember one young mother of twins told me, “Get your habit of meeting with the Lord established before you are married because if you don’t, you’ll never establish it as a mother with young ones.”
This little exhortation served to make me take it all very seriously. Actually, that was the problem! I didn’t enjoy meeting with the Lord. It was one more thing to check off my list. Eventually, I stopped trying,
When I married and began being blessed with children, I tried, again, to establish a regular time with God (the words of that mother of twins were still ringing in my ears!). I struggled to be consistent and, do you know what? I’m still working on it.
However, something interesting happened during those insanely busy years with little ones that continues to bless me and feed me during my crazy years with older ones today.
I learned to pray and feed on God’s word in the moment.
I learned to take bites and gulps of nourishment throughout the day, constantly setting my mind on the Lord and giving the big and little problems of the day to Him. In other words, I began living my life with the Lord of my life, all throughout the day. Some would say this is communing with Him.
Sometimes, I would sit the children down with me and let them color while we all listened to the Bible on CD. Of course, there were interruptions so we didn’t always hear it all but we heard enough to feed our souls.
I kept the radio in the car turned to a Christian station with good teaching and, if the timing was right, would be encouraged by Family Life Today or Focus on the Family as I waited in the car or traffic. These programs especially encouraged me as a wife and mother and they still do.
I learned to immediately bring things to God in prayer. If an ambulance zoomed by during the day, the children and I prayed for those on the receiving end of that help. If someone asked for prayer, I would pray with them immediately so I wouldn’t forget later on. I learned to do the same thing with little and big concerns; immediately bringing them to God.
God does not refuse to answer my prayers just because I haven’t had an hour long time alone with Him. He is a heavenly Father who delights to see His child bring her cares and worries to Him.
He knows our frame.
He remembers that we are but dust.
He is a good God. We can trust Him.