I am struggling with reality… don’t laugh! You see, I spent 4½ days alone, with no responsibilities, no housework, nowhere to go, no noise… nothing but woods, rain and mud, a stack of books and a laptop. It was glorious! I spent such wonderful time with God. He was so clear, so real, so close. Peace and quiet reigned, and it was so easy to hear His still, small voice. It’s easy to wake up and spend time with God when you have nothing else to do. No people talking to you, no laundry waiting, no one is hungry and depending on you for food, no one to chauffer around with a million places to go and things to do.
But this is not reality. This is vacation, R&R time away from the battle of real life. One cannot stay on leave forever; the battle awaits and the responsibilities of life don’t go away forever. Re-entering life is where my struggle began.
Now I am back in the battle, with people who depend on me, or need me, or just want to spend time with me. I have to juggle stuff to do and people and still keep my focus on God; it’s harder than I remembered. I can’t seem to work in my time alone with God; snatching small slivers of time is not enough for me anymore. I need lengthy times of peace and quiet and solitude, and they just don’t exist in my normal life. But God has put me in this life, therefore there must be a way to make it work.
One thing about the battle and the struggle of everyday life… it produces something in me that peace and quiet does not. I wrote very little last week. There were no inspiring words burning in my mind to be put on paper. No ideas racing in my head that I had to write down. Yet I filled several pages in my notebook just this morning, ideas waiting for inspiration to flesh out into devotionals.
I’ve always known I was a fighter at heart; I need something to struggle against and to fight for. It seems that without the fight I don’t do much. God knows I don’t need a Christian life as easy as I had it last week. I need a bit of chaos and busyness to work through, I need an enemy to struggle with, I need a God worth fighting for. The struggle is how God inspires me, how He puts words in my mind, how He sets my heart on fire, how He gives me passion to truly live my life for Him and to seek Him, because I am reminded every day how of much I need Him.
So I must thank Him for the chaos as well as the peace, for the noise as well as the quiet, for the people in my life as well as the occasional solitude He gives me. After all, this life is not about me anyway; it’s about God and His plan.
Rebecca A Givens, 07/2008