You set your alarm 30 minutes earlier than normal. You place your Bible on the breakfast table next to your cereal bowl. You pick out your favorite pen and find your brand new, never-been-touched-by-ink journal. You’re ready for a morning devotion tomorrow.
It was SO good to get your Bible reading done. What a great start to the new year! You’re feeling good about this. You can stick to your plan to read the whole Bible this year. Or journal every prayer. Or read 20 new books to increase your faith.
But, if you’re like me, by day three you missed your alarm, neglected to pull your Bible out the night before, or just plain didn’t want to make time. By day five it’s like you never even tried.
A new year is often the time we want to develop new habits. And it’s just. so. hard.
Our souls crave the refreshing, life-giving presence of our God. We are made in His image, ideally suited to rely on Him. We are MADE to need God. Quiet time is supposed to be “normal.”
I struggle daily to make time for being in His presence. If it’s supposed to be normal, why is it so hard? I feel guilty, defeated and shamed for not being able to keep this “habit” up.
But one thought of truth has penetrated my soul to reset and cultivate my quiet time with the King.
I was selfish. I made “quiet time” about me. I assumed it was something for my good, and my good alone.
Devotion, faith-building, quiet time isn’t meant for me. It’s meant for Him. And that’s the secret to maintaining your quiet time with God this year.
We must be humble. This isn’t a time to feel guilty or “check-the-box.” This is a time where we don’t feel strong or determined. This is a time where we feel weak.
I’ve found my first prayer has changed since this mind-shift. First thing when I open my eyes, I beg for God’s strength. I pray for strength against the forces that would deter me from coming to Him. I pray for strength to listen, and for strength to ask more from Him. In this, I admit my weakness. I accept my weakness. More importantly, I accept Him who loves me in my weakness, works through my weakness.
To keep your quiet time this year, recognize its importance: Not for celebrating your faith, or displaying it, but for increasing it. For asking God, who is greater than you, to feed you life and breath and heartbeat.
Let your heart bleed before God in the quiet moments. It is through this time of admitting your weakness that God blesses you with His strength. You develop a habit of relying on His strength because you recognize this need for it. Your soul hungers for it. Soon, you can’t get enough of this God who promises hope for your life. And your “New Year” commitment to seek out God and spend time with Him becomes resting in His embrace because He was already there.
It’s hard. But He is with us. Rest in Him, friend.