I don't know about you, but it is hard to get some quiet time in. That is with just me and God sitting down, reading His word, and soaking up any knowledge that He wants to share with me. I used to be really good about having a consistent quiet time where I would read my Bible and write in my journal the thoughts I had about what I read. Those times seems to be a little more chaotic and not as well thought out as they used to be.
One of my goals last week was to make a consious effort to fit in my quiet time when noone else is around to distract me (I get distracted easily sometimes). Since I am such a night owl, I thought that evenings would be best, but that didn't work, then I considered mornings. That seemed to be the best time when I could get up just a little earlier then everyone else and read my Bible, sit with a comfy, cozy blanket and dig into what God has in store for me today. I would say that I met my goal this week.
Right now I have been reading the book of Romans. One particular day really made an impact on me and I wanted to share my thoughts with you. I read Romans 5:1-11. This was talking about rejoicing when tough and hard times hit you. As I read this, I thought, that it is easy to sit and read that, but when I'm facing a really hard period of my life, those words are incredibly hard to hear.
As I thought about it more, I realized that maybe I had been missing the point of rejoicing. Tom and I started a new Sunday School class recently, and this topic was brought up throughout the whole hour. I got this really tight feeling in my stomache that I should say something. You know the feeling, the one where you just can't breathe or you will explode. Well, I sadly didn't say anything and I felt like maybe I did have something to say about the subject. So here goes.
As I hear more and more about rejoicing, I think that maybe I am putting that equal to being happy. Having gone through some not so happy times, I now think that maybe rejoicing isn't about being happy, but more about giving God all the credit for taking care of me during those tough times and watching over me so that I don't do anything stupid. He longs for me to have a deep relationship with Him and through my suffering, I still can trust Him to provide me exactly what I need for that moment where I don't think I can even bear it anymore. I know for a fact that suffering doesn't make you happy, but for me it made me more willing to let go. When I say "let go" I mean that I really had no choice in the matter, but I released all of the pain, bitterness, perfectionism, and constant worry and struggle into God's loving hands. That was really scary, b/c I never know what God will do or have in store for my life, but I do know that He will give me what I need at the perfect moment that I need it. I've heard many people say that God never gives you more that you can handle. I think that maybe He does give me more than I can handle without Him. My struggles, worries, pain, and sufferings have been way more than I could ever have handled on my own, but with God he provided the courage, strength, and power to get through and continue trusting Him even when it is hard and I didn't know how to live as me anymore. The me I was before is different now, and He has used that to free me into His arms. What a relief to know that He holds my life in His hands and I CAN trust Him with everything even the tough stuff.
Lately, I have been reminded about those dark days when I didn't see a way out of my suffering. It was terrible to be in that place, but I have been encouraged by some things that have reminded of that time. It has been uplifting to hear about those things in sermons in church, or in a video series in a new Sunday School class (even if I'm too shy to share). It lets me know that God does give me my "daily bread". That is to say that He gives me what I need for right now, and takes care of me in the process.
I hope that something I say will encourage you too.