Quiet Time Extension
Brenda Nail DeLauder
My to-do list had not grown shorter, in fact I added things to it only last night. Yet there I sat on the porch, long after the last school bus ran, the coffee had grown cold and the bugs were beginning to find me.
After breakfast each morning, it’s my Bible reading and prayer time. It’s the best way to start any day, yet this morning I simply sat there. I read the scripture but prayers remained silent on my lips. Without a doubt I was not alone and there was a reason I needed the time to simply be still with God. Following several more attempts at praying I stopped, leaned back in my chair and watched the critters enjoy their treats. Two chipmunks were busy loading up on sunflower seeds, a squirrel munched on a peanut, while a family of cardinals busily took turns at the feeder. A slight breeze picked up, providing a coolness to the porch and I began to relax as I rocked and watched the morning unfold.
Whenever I spend more than a few minutes being still, I start to feel guilty. Being busy gives me a sense of accomplishment I thrive on, besides goofing off only piles more on my plate for later. Pointing this out to God was laughable because each time I started to speak, the sense of being still came over me. My attempts to make excuses grew weaker until I finally shut up. The reason I needed this extra time is not clear, but it was good. No one thing crowded into my mind, I simply let go and relished the presence of the Holy Spirit with me. After a bit, I felt the veil begin to slip away and it was time to get on with my day. As for those I normally pray for, without a shadow of doubt, I knew they were indeed lifted this day without my uttering a single name.
Last week I got a call from a dear friend who lives miles away. We catch up every now and again, and pick up where we left off, as if it were yesterday. It was wonderful to hear her voice, but almost instantly I knew something was coming. I could sense her hesitation so I waited, knowing she needed time to gather her thoughts. A physical battle is before her now and while more tests are being run, treatments are already being lined up. Besides having great doctors helping her, BeBe has a far more powerful weapon in which to battle this war. She has Christ. Her strength in Jesus and acceptance of what He has in store, is enough to keep her, and all those who love her, lifted up.
Romans 5:3-5 tells us, “ ... we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endur-ance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” That doesn’t mean we feel nothing or we go skipping along as if we have not a worry in the world. The scripture acknowledges we have suffering, but it is through our battles we gain strength and wisdom. It is through our wars we gain inner peace with God.
Perhaps my extended quiet time this morning was to process what is going on with my friend. More important than figuring out the reason, is that I obeyed. I listened. And you know what? I felt restored when I finally did leave the porch. God knows what we need long before we do, so why not do His bidding.
Brenda Nail DeLauder is a native of Henry County. Her heart remains in her hometown.