I hear it all the time: I don’t do devotions.
Guilt ridden people share about their struggles, giving every excuse from lack of time, to distraction and even to doubt that it is necessary.
I was once one of them. My devotions were mindless prayers before the table as my thoughts were a hundred miles away. My time spent with God was non-existent.
But in 2014, I heard a testimony that changed everything. Being with God was no longer a list on my things to do, it was the first thing I wanted to do. In fact, I was so radically changed that I believed I was better off spending time with God than eating or sleeping. This meant in a very real way that if I had to chose between spending time with God and sleep, it wasn’t even a question in my mind – I chose God.
Ah yes, 2014. The year I had a 7 year old, 5 year old, 4 year old, 2 year old and a colicky newborn.
I remember it well, well meaning folks telling me as a young mom that seeking God is unimportant in those years… God understands, they say.
The truth is yes, he understands. It’s true. He’s not angry with anyone for not spending time with him.
But the thing is, that’s not the point!
Our entire existence was never meant to be about trying to avoid angering God – what a terrible way to live! What a false and warped view of God!
The point is that overtired, overworked and unappreciated Mother’s need him desperately, and devotions were never meant to be spending time with God out of some religious guilt.
It becoming so convinced that your faith is the only thing you have of value, that you actually begin to live like it is.
So 2014… I was going through depression, I was physically in the worst shape of my life, I had five kids and very little help with them. I was constantly overwhelmed. I couldn’t fit in five minutes to pray.
And I went to a conference that changed me forever.
A young woman came on stage to tell her testimony. She spoke of her years getting a masters degree in a difficult field (I forget what it was) and how much time a day she had to herself… which was NO time. She literally went to school, did homework, went to work, did homework and then maybe got four hours of sleep in before she had to repeat the exhausting cycle all over again. She was almost burnt out.
But then one day, she happened to cry out to God and she felt him telling her to tithe.
“But how God,” she responded, “I have no money!”
God responded simply: “I’m not talking about your money child, I’m asking for your time. Give me 10% of your time and I will multiply it.”
She obeyed. And slowly, she began spending more and more time with God, because she desired him so much! She eventually spent from 3-4 hours a day with him and had more time than ever before! Where it came from was a mystery to her. The rest of her story was remarkable. Her time was literally multiplied. She began getting six or more hours of sleep a night. Her grades went up.
Just from being with Jesus. The Creator.
He knows how we are formed. He knows how life works. The question was not, did I have time, rather, did I really believe that being with God was important? That it could change my life?
Now six years later…I’ve been asked by many people how I manage my time with five kids. How I get everything done, how we seem to be on time for the most part, how everything – from cooking, to cleaning, to sports, to homework and music lessons – how everything gets done… and I often just smile and say I don’t know.
But you know what it really is?
God has multiplied my time.
By spending time with God each day, he has taught me, slowly, step by step how to manage life. How to stretch my money to make ends meet. How to survive under the most difficult situations. How to organize chaos.
You see, it was never me! It’s my time with a God! Read my journal and you will see the difficult questions I ask him each day. I don’t have the answers!
But he does.
And learning this truth, that life just works so much better when it’s walked by his side, changed everything for me.
I challenge my readers to take this testimony to heart. You don’t have time? Then I’m definitely talking to you! Give God an hour, wake up early if you have to just to sit with him, listen to him. Pour out your thoughts and troubles, allowing him show you a better way. It will transform you.