A candle glows in the morning darkness. The blank pages of my journal stare back at me. My bible app glimmers on the screen.
“Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!” (Psalm 95:6).
These sweet moments of stillness invite me into the presence of the Lord. Especially after the year we’ve had, I’ve felt an earnest longing to be here, in this space, to root myself deeper into his Word. If it’s one thing I’ve learned in life, it’s that chaos comes unbidden, and when I’ve needed to stand on a firm foundation through a storm, I know how hard it can be, unless I’ve first taken time to build it on the Rock.
Why Take Time to Abide?
These undisturbed moments before the Lord are a treasured commodity. The needs of the day will soon come upon me; gathering the kids for school, preparing to go to work, and organizing all life’s moving pieces. Rising early before my kids are awake provides me time in solitude, where I can guard my heart and my head before entering a noisy, crowded world.
In order to fulfill my purpose, my calling, to do all things for the glory of God and for the good of others, I must fix my eyes on the gospel truths of his Word, allowing them to inform my mind, inspire my heart and instruct my life.
“As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me” (John 15:4).
I am blessed in the roles God has given me, in my marriage, my motherhood and relationships; as I serve the church and work as a nurse in the ER. To remain intentional in this balancing act, for any of my efforts to be lasting for the kingdom of God, Jesus teaches that I must first be tethered to him.
How I Abide
My abiding time begins with reading six chapters of the Bible; three from the Old Testament, one Psalm, one chapter from the Gospels and one from an epistle.
This gets me reading the whole Bible in a year, with a couple trips through the Gospels. As I read each chapter, I choose a key verse, and write it in my journal; it will be one that summarizes the content, or one that is significant to me.
When I’m done reading, I take some time to journal what the passages teach me about who God is, about who I am, and how Christ is seen. I reflect on sin I need to confess, examples to follow, attitudes I need to change, or things to praise God for. Then I choose one verse from what I’ve read, write it out on a notecard and memorize It throughout the week. Lastly, I flip through my prayer cards and lift up the people in my life.
This tithe of my time is guarded from interruptions of my phone or social media. It’s not always flawless, and it’s certainly not perfect. This lengthy time is often what I need to slow my brain down enough for the Spirit’s promptings to be heard.
It’s not always felt this simple. I’ve not always been disciplined. Seasons of life have brought change and transition, babies came, the family grew; hardship and trials brought more stress. But knowing that the foundation is being built, and that time spent in his presence is never wasted, deepens my resolve and longing for more.
I didn’t always covet these quiet moments. Now they are my lifeline.
*This post first appeared at Mariel Davenport's series Tending by the Word. Check out her blog for her TEND method of bible study to help you grow in your study of the Word!