“I want you to live as free of complications as possible. When you’re unmarried, you’re free to concentrate on simply pleasing the Master. Marriage involves you in all the nuts and bolts of domestic life and in wanting to please your spouse, leading to so many more demands on your attention. The time and energy that married people spend on caring for and nurturing each other, the unmarried can spend in becoming whole and holy instruments of God. I’m trying to be helpful and make it as easy as possible for you, not make things harder. All I want is for you to be able to develop a way of life in which you can spend plenty of time together with the Master without a lot of distractions.” 1 Corinthians 7:32-35 (MSG)
This group of verses stood out to me in today’s reading, mainly because I have been struggling in the area of family distractions a lot over the past 2+ years since I got married and birthed my first child. At times, when I am feeling as dry as a desert, I have looked back to my past and yearned for what was – an abundance of time to spend in the Word and to pray for hours at a times, corporate prayer and worship, face to face time with my Almighty, silence to hear the still, small voice, etc. I look back on the closeness I felt with my Father, an intimacy that I miss deeply right now. I remember the lushness of that time as if it was an oasis in the middle of a wilderness.
During that time in my life, I lived out of personal experience and belief more based in tangible knowledge and involvement. It was just me and God. I could wrap my schedule around His little finger and had nothing to take me away from spending as much time as I wanted resting and being filled up with His presence. It was a time when, despite the normal fatigue of living life, I always had the energy to give to others from the abundance that I was constantly walking in.
Recently, I have been living in that place of faith in what is not seen or felt. I have to moment-by-moment choose to trust that God is there looking after me, protecting me, providing for me, and loving me in such a way that He would never leave me nor forsake me. I have to believe that when I complete my day-to-day tasks, honor my husband, and care for my daughter as unto the Lord, it is as incense to the Lord in the same way it was when I had the time to worship for hours playing the guitar and making a joyful noise. And as I pray minute-by-minute, I must have confidence that He will hear and answer my prayers as the prayers of fervent woman who could spend the whole day in the prayer room.
Now…don’t get me wrong…I would never want to give up being married to my loving husband, miss out on watching my beautiful 18 month old explore the world that God created with His words, or not have the opportunity to be anticipating the soon-coming of my second bundle of joy. But, what I hope and pray for is the divine wisdom to figure out the perfect balance of those two worlds – my past and my present – to be in an even deeper relationship with my God in the future.
Holy Spirit, thank you for Your grace and comfort. Please, be with me and guide me. Give me the wisdom I desire in how to carve out time for You in my hectic, exhausting, distracted days. I want more time with You. I want more of You. I want my relationship with You to be increasingly intimate. I want to feel Your tangible presence with me all the time. I want to more and more abide in You and You in me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Blessings – Julie, Stateside