November 23, 2020
I know that for the past few weeks, it’s been very difficult to focus.
Your home is no longer just a place to rest from everything. It has transformed into your classroom, your ate or kuya’s workplace, your younger sibling’s playground, and everyone’s dumping area of stress.
Forced to work with what you have, you are left with no choice but to make your home somewhat conducive for learning. Your parents get into a fight and it’s so hard to ignore the exchange of words. Your brother turns on the television like his ears are locked up underground. The slightest movement of the wind is making your dog mad, which is making your dad mad.“Zion! Ang ingay mo!”You look at the floor and your sister has turned into a human mop, throwing tantrums about something. The kitchen table where you do your schoolwork is just too messy to look at.
And the loudest of all?
“(Facebook Messenger) Ma’am Chinny: Hello mga anak, uploaded na sa Google drive natin yung activities nyo. Please finish them by the end of the day.”
Woah! I need a breather!
But aside from the atmosphere in your home, how’s the atmosphere of your heart today?
Is it noisy too? Are the worries of life crammed up inside as well?
Is your heart heavy from all the things that you need to face and endure?
Are you waking up each day just to survive?
If you answered YES to any of these, you’re carrying too much. You need to go to God.
But even if you feel like you’re doing fine, you still need to go to God. We need Him regardless of our load or our mood.
Today, more than ever, we all need to fight for our quiet place where we can meet God to pause, process, and be reminded of His promises. Why? Because our hearts can only carry so much. Don’t let your burdens or your comforts cause you to forget the goodness of God and the need to be reliant on Him every day.
And no, I’m not being overdramatic by saying we have to “fight” for it. With our situation today, to have a quiet time with God will often require us to fight hard for it.
We need to fight for our intimacy with God, our hunger and thirst for His words, and our willingness to be in full surrender. When our surroundings are pulling us away from Him, we don’t just sit, but we stand and go against the current—which will require our effort and may cost our comfort.
Before Jesus was taken away from His disciples, they were also inside a room, contemplating who would betray Him, where He was going, His death, and the things that were about to come. Overwhelmed with Jesus’ words, the disciples’ hearts became troubled.
Jesus commanded them, “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me.” (John 14:1, NLT)
While it is hard to change the environment we’re in today, God is still able to meet us right where we are. Don’t let your heart be troubled.
To fight is to do whatever is necessary in order to connect with God. Are you ready to fight for this?
Here are some practical tips on creating your own quiet space:
1. Wake up ahead of everyone.
As I said, this will require effort. If you don’t have your own room, the only quiet time you’ll have is when everyone else is sleeping. To do this, you might need to manage your tasks and sleep at an earlier time. Map out a plan to meet God in the morning.
2. Have a prayer journal.
If you’re a night owl, prayer journals can be a great tool for you. They are great in keeping records of your conversations with God and to see how He has been faithful in your journey.
If you feel like it’s difficult for you to pray while people are still awake, you can write your prayers into a journal so you can freely converse with God through writing. But I hope that as you develop your intimacy with God, you’ll also grow more comfortable in praying even when others are inside the room.
3. Use earphones to listen in and close out noise.
While doing your devotion, you can listen to worship songs. If you’re easily distracted by lyrics, search for a lo-fi, jazz, or piano instrumental playlist to cancel out the noise in your surroundings. Listening to music through your earphones will help your brain focus.
You may also make use of available video and audio resources online, such as Victory’s daily devotional videos, as well as ENC’s podcasts like Today On Campus, Victory Devotional Podcast, and the Every Nation Podcast.
4. Go outside.
If you have a yard, I encourage you to get a chair and table and meet God there. Get your pen, notebook, Bible, and leave your phone somewhere else to avoid distraction. I’m sure it will eventually be your favorite spot. It’s also a great way to pause from all your screen time.
5. Find what works for you.
Keep on trying new ways to get yourself to be in that unhurried time with God. The keyword is “unhurried”—to soak in God’s presence without worrying about the time, away from the noise of life.
God longs to be known. He wants to converse with us through the reading of His word and through prayer. Therefore, I strongly believe that no matter how your home or your situation looks, God gives each of us an opportunity to meet Him. We just have to “find” it.
Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace,
that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.