Tuesday, February 2, 2010


"Once we get intimate with Jesus we are never lonely and we never lack for understanding or compassion. We can continually pour out our hearts to Him without being perceived as overly emotional or pitiful. The Christian who is truly intimate with Jesus will never draw attention to himself but will only show the evidence of a life where Jesus is completely in control. This is the outcome of allowing Jesus to satisfy every area of life to its depth. The picture resulting from such a life is that of the strong, calm balance that our Lord gives to those who are intimate with Him."
-My Utmost for His Highest, January 7th

"The strong, calm balance" . . . when I read this devotion back in January, I had no idea that this concept of intimacy and quiet before our Lord would be such a hard lesson to learn. I didn't set out to learn it by any means - in fact, I've actually been running away from it for the past several weeks. When I returned to Truman from Christmas break at home, life quickly picked up and started moving at it's usual break-neck speed. SAB, CCF, spending time with friends, small groups, Howdys, planning events, meetings, homework, classes, keeping in touch with friends back home. . . I was overwhelmed. Each night, when I finally gave in to my desperate need for sleep, I would lie awake for hours, exhausted physically and emotionally, but with my mind rushing with everything that still had yet to be done. And every morning, the alarm came far too quickly, for I never woke up feeling any more rested than I had when I went to bed.

One night a week or so ago, in the midst of all this chaos, a friend asked how they could pray for me. I decided to be honest and said, "Pray that I would start taking time for my own relationship with God, and not constantly focusing on my relationship with others, and on their issues in life and their relationships with God." Our conversation moved on from there, and I would have forgotten entirely about it had, God not inserted Himself into the situation.

This past week has been almost frightening. My daily e-mail devotions, the sermon on Sunday, conversations with 3 of my friends, my small group meeting this Monday, and all the other spiritual inputs into my life have all had one focus -- Slow down. Cut back on your schedule. Make time for God. Learn to be a "Mary" and not a "Martha." Place God as your first priority, not just another item on the to-do list. Develop intimacy with Him and don't be content with a casual acquaintance. And through it all, the recurring theme that if I were to do this and pursue God, this "strong, calm balance" would be the result, replacing my usual exhaustion and stress.

This isn't one of those stories about how I made a 180 degree turn-around and my life is suddenly perfect - far from it! I am still in the very beginning stages of learning how to apply these truths to my busy college life. But God knows what He's up to, and He has placed people in my life this semester who are there to help me out. So I just wanted to write this in order to encourage you to also make your pursuit of God first priority in your life, no matter who you are. We are all busy, but somehow, that ceases to be a good excuse when you think of the Cross, doesn't it? Let's learn together how to slow down and be still and quiet before our God, developing that intimacy with Him that He asks us for.

Yours, from the chilly northern climate,

1 comment:

Elizabeth said...

That is such a good lesson to learn; I really need to work on it too!!!

In Christ,