Though adding this third baby has been such a sweet season, I can’t ignore that I’m more tired and busy and that my days are full. My bandwidth for everything is a bit lower, and when that happens, I am more raw, less guarded, more hyper-aware of my need for Jesus. (Translation: I’m more prone toward grumpy, stressed, and insecure when I’m stretched and tired.)
I know that I need the truth of the Word and the presence of God it brings to my life right now. (I mean, always, always, right?) I strongly believe that the Word is vital to our lives, and I wrote a 5-day devotional about it that you can get straight in your email (sign up here). But here, I wanted to share some of the things that happen when I don’t spend time in God’s Word. This is from recent experience, y’all. I don’t get it right all of the time, and I don’t serve a God who asks perfection of me, thankfully. But when I pay attention, these are some (and I mean just some) of the things that happen in my life when I’m not actively inhaling Scripture —
1. The weight of the world gets too heavy.
All you have to do is turn on the news or open your Facebook feed to know that the world has some pretty significant struggles at large. But I’m also talking about my world — friends, family, neighbors — we’ve all got something. Everywhere I turn, I see families falling apart, wounded and broken hearts trying to recover, humans stumbling because it’s what we do. And sometimes, I get overwhelmed. I carry the weight of our own stressors or the struggles of others, and I forget that I believe in a God who has overcome the world. I forget where the ultimate victory lies. I forget that He sees, that He cares more than I ever could.
2. I forget my identity + purpose.
We live in a world that applauds the beautiful, the high achievers, the “perfect” couples, the moms that can do it all. It’s an active fight to turn my eyes away from the standards our culture or my own perfectionism can place on me. When I’m not focused on who God says I am and what he says matters, I can start to feel the horrible pressure — the one that says I’m not enough but I sure should try to be. God says I’m beautifully and wonderfully made, that I am His adopted, loved, cherished daughter no matter what. The world and my own brain tell me different things. They tell me to try harder, to define myself by all sorts of confusing standards, to keep reaching for the next thing. It’s easy, so easy, to forget who I am in Him and what He made me to do (bring Him glory and live from love instead of for approval).
3. I lose my longing.
I believe that we have a consistent need to be sustained by God’s truth and communion with him. We should be desperately dependent on Him for all the things. But I have found, and perhaps you have as well, that when I spend less and less time seeking God through His Word, the less and less I am aware of that need and hunger for it.
In fact, I would say that if you don’t feel the longing to wash yourself in the Word, to experience His presence by getting into Scripture, that’s a sign that it’s been too long, that you need to discipline yourself to get into it until the longing comes back. Because it will, I know. Being fed and satisfied by God’s Word is so much better than any other thing we could try. It keeps us coming back for more.
By the way, we have an enemy that knows this, and he would love for us to lose our longing and our dependency. Just something to stay aware of.
All of these things are remedied when I come to the Word of God.
I remember that He has the victory.
I remember that I am His, that I don’t have to strive or feel insecure.
My hunger for Him is fueled, and my sensitivity to His voice is sharpened.
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As I mentioned earlier, I have a 5-day devotional to enhance your time in the Word.
All you have to do is sign up here, and it’ll be in your email, ready to download!