Lately, I haven’t been feeling God as much in my quiet time. I don’t know if this is because it’s six in the morning and I’m still half-asleep, or because I’m thinking about everything I have to do that day, or I get distracted by my phone or a book. But it’s this rut that I’ve been stuck in and couldn’t seem to shake for quite a while.
So this morning, I did something different. I still read my Bible at six when I got up, but at 7:30 I made coffee and took it outside. Just coffee–no books, no Bible, no phone. I took a journal with me, but ended up not using it. I sat in the quiet morning for thirty minutes and just talked to God. I have to admit, I haven’t really been holding up my end of the conversation lately, so we had a lot to catch up on. I told Him about how the little things are killing me lately, like having patience with a few certain people. And then I reassured Him that I still have the same old bigger worries; they haven’t left. But He already knew that, even if I forgot He knew.
I always have a song stuck in my head, and this morning it’s “You Make Me Brave” by Amanda Cook and Bethel Music.
I sat and whispered the lyrics under my breath, like a prayer. Make me brave. Make me brave. Make me brave. And God was so there, more so than I’ve felt for many mornings, and it was a beautiful thing. And now I’m in here writing this blog post, because when God does something cool you want to shout it from the rooftops and let everybody know that you have such a good, good Father.
Another trend I’ve noticed lately is that God shows up most tangibly when I least expect Him. Often, I try to schedule my times with God. Maybe that was my whole problem with my quiet time. Hey, God–this is your time slot. 6:00-6:30 A.M. Talk to me then, because I’m busy the rest of the day.
I used to feel Him most during these mornings in my room, doing homework or laundry or reading, eating Jellie Bellies, listening to I Am They or Rend Collective with the sunrise coming in my bay windows. He’s still there, I know, but it’s a different kind of there. It’s kind of a quiet, comforting there instead of an exploding-with-joy there. And now something new is happening, something different but not bad: it’s in the moments of chaos later in the day that He shows up most tangibly. When there’s yelling and tears (not mine; I can deal with mine, but I hate other people’s); when I think I’m dying of asthma; when I’m looking at colleges and getting really excited and worried. It’s a funny thing, and it’s made me realize: first, I can’t put God in a box. He will show up how He wants to because He is the Lord of the universe. Second, He’s in everything. Literally everything. It’s not just during my quiet time in the morning–He’s always, always, always around. And finally, He’s especially in the moments I need Him. Before, I didn’t really feel Him in the chaos. It was just, well, chaos. And it’s still chaos. But somewhere, somehow, in the middle of it–He shows up. He arrives. Or, more likely, He was there along, and I just didn’t know how to look for Him.
So I don’t really know how God is going to show up today. We had a great visit this morning, but I want more. I want to feel Him all day every day no matter what I’m doing. I know it’s my problem, not His; He’ll be there. I just have to look. And I think that takes a special kind of bravery, like I was praying for this morning. I want to be tuned in to God’s voice, but if I am, then there may be a moment today when I feel nudged by the Holy Spirit to do something I don’t really want to do. But He’ll be with me, so we’ve gone in a circle, back to where we started. He’s there for the whole circle.
Make me brave.