Do Not Let a Hard Season Derail your Quiet Time
Hard seasons are inevitable. They can be minor afflictions, or they can be life-altering. Sometimes we have a warning and time to prepare, at other times, these seasons catch us completely by surprise. These trials come in many forms: a spiritual drought, division in the church, a demanding family member, a debilitating illness, a spouse’s deployment, a move, or deadlines looming on a project. Nothing can throw off our routines and disrupt habits we’ve carefully cultivated, like big life changes and our precious time with the Lord is often the first thing to be set aside.
Even when we fall into bed exhausted mentally, emotionally, and physically, the reality remains that our spiritual condition is vital to our capacity to walk through hard seasons. How do we continue to live in a way that seeks and pursues God when we can barely keep the other parts of our life together?
Hard seasons do not change our need for God; such seasons only make our dependence on him more obvious. So, lean into that dependence! Take some time to ask the Holy Spirit to help process your feelings. Honestly share with him your fears and desires for the outcome. Talk to him about your quiet time, and ask how he wants you to pursue him during this time. Pray that God keeps your mind and heart focused on him. Seek to know him deeper in the difficulties and for strength to endure in a way that pleases him.
Plan intentional meetings with God. Establish a short study or reading plan that is realistic for this season. Arrange your schedule to prioritize time with the Lord. It may be a long-term or temporary adjustment; it may even change from day to day! It could take a few days to find something that works for you and might even require more sacrifice than you think you can give right now. But fighting for this time with God will be worth the effort. He will meet you, even if you show up weak, exhausted, and detached.
Part of what makes a hard season difficult is that it is often accompanied by loneliness. But hard seasons should not be done alone! Though God can use loneliness to teach us about himself, we still need others to help us see what difficulty easily blinds us to. Pray and ask God to bring people to mind that you can ask for help. Ask a friend to pray for you specifically during this time. Continue to attend church to be filled with God’s Word and encouraged by his people. We often don’t want to bother or burden people and forget how eagerly we respond when others ask for our help! Give others the opportunity to serve Jesus by loving you!
We are responsible to God; even in trying seasons. Our heart and your character during this time are important to him. The Holy Spirit is working in our lives and is ready to take our meager offerings and use them for the Father’s glory.
Even if the circumstances you may be facing seem hopeless, long, lonely, or painful, you can trust that God has not forgotten you! He will never leave or forsake you. He will uphold you. He is your salvation. He is your protector and provider. He is your healer. He is your God. Remind yourself of these things. Write them down, read them, sing them. Let His Word be your constant companion even in the depths of sorrow, pain, or despair. God’s nearness is not contingent on keeping a daily quiet time, but seeking time with him helps you see Him in the blur of your hard season.
God wants to be a part of our hard seasons, just as he does any other season of our lives. It is a sweet and comforting solace to know that even when we are spiritually dry, God’s love for us does not change. Continue to come to him, even if it’s dragging your weary body to his feet, and you can’t even read words because of the tears. He’s the Redeemer of the sinful, the Refresher of the weary, and the Comforter of the broken. Do not hesitate to come to Him.
|Erica Hunt lives with her husband, Justin, in South Dakota. She teaches middle school and loves traveling, collecting quotes, learning fun facts and historical information, drinking coffee, eating ice cream, and enjoying good conversations with friends.|