Verse: James 4:8
Come near to God and he will come near to you.
Yesterday started out really good for me. I woke up with the attitude that even though this situation isn’t ideal, we can find opportunities to serve and be creative. I got to deliver some food to people in need, and I felt really happy to be part of a church doing such good work in the world. Then sometime in the afternoon I just started to get worried. To be totally transparent, I started to worry about money. All the what if’s started to avalanche onto me. What if lots of people I know lose their jobs? What if I do? How long is this going to last? What if I can’t pay my bills? What if this doesn’t stop till summer? Or a year from now? Needless to say, my mood darkened 🙂 And it lasted for a while. Lots of good things happen when my mood darkens: I get quiet. I don’t laugh. I don’t really talk to people. I go internal totally. I’m really no good, no fun, and no use like that. So finally, in the evening, I decided to go outside alone and pray. I realized a few things.
- I had not spent time alone with God FOR ME that day.
- I had not prayed about what I was feeling.
Today I decided to start differently. I spent time in prayer, in silence, and in the Word of God. I needed it. Nothing has changed externally. I still have no guarantees (like many of us!) about the future. But I really don’t think it would be healthy to live my life for however long this lasts like I did yesterday. This verse, “come near to God and he will come near to you” is what I needed yesterday, and what I need everyday. In our small group a couple of weeks ago we talked about how Spiritual Practices or Disciplines in part come from an ancient Jesuit idea of “The Rule of Life.” The idea of a rule of life is not like we think of rules—follow this rule or else! It is more like a lattice or trellis that vines grow on. Without that structure the fruit wouldn’t grow. Spending time with God on a regular basis is a trellis for our spiritual growth and health. During this time I would say there are two things to think about:
- It is even more important now than when things were normal to have your trellis in place. Yesterday I STOPPED doing my trellis and it hurt my health.
- If you don’t have a solid trellis, NOW IS THE TIME. We have less on our schedules for the foreseeable future – use that time wisely! Build a trellis! Start small, but what could you add to your life on daily basis that would help your spiritual health and growth?
So in all of this uncertainty and change, don’t forget to “come near to God.” Build those daily practices that will support your spiritual growth and health so you can come through this time even stronger than when it started.