By: Meghan Schultz
I had a kind of revelation the other day. I was at school, stressing about a test (per usual) when it occurred to me -- could I just … not … worry about it? Could I just … give it to God and ask Him to take it?
It sounds ridiculous. I'd given God my problems before, but as I reflected on past experiences, I always found little ways to place them back on myself. Perhaps the idea was incredibly simple, and small, but I am someone who constantly puts far too much pressure and stress on myself. The possibility of freedom from that shook me to my core.
So I did. Right then and there, I placed my worry in His hands. A feeling of peace settled over me, and I resolved to not put that anxiety back on my shoulders. I decided to leave the door to my heart open and embrace Him at every moment of that day. When I woke up the next morning, I decided I would try and do it again. And the next day, and the day after that. I had found the desire in myself to live as intentionally as I could, and I was learning there was no better way to do that than in His presence.
That is how He wants us to call on him: intentionally and in every moment of our days. It is not only in moments of trouble that we need to turn to the Lord, but in joy and thankfulness. God is always present to us. We are the ones who need to show up. As author Leigh McLeroy wrote, “[God] shows up even when we’re not ‘on retreat’ or ‘having a quiet time.’ He invades grocery lines and football stadiums, cry rooms and cafeterias. He speaks in ways we expect, and in ways we do not.” God, the one who breathed stars into existence, desires to speak to us. Even more so, He wants to hear from us!
It’s all about the little prayers, the ones that come in between breaths. I don’t want to be confusing or vague. I mean when we wake up, we take a moment to close our eyes and say, “Lord, please let me live through you today, in everything I think, do, and say.” And then we hold that feeling of prayerfulness at the forefront of our minds, and we hold the doors of our hearts open wide. In moments of weakness throughout the day -- our car windshield is frozen over, we didn’t get the grade we wanted on a test, a project isn’t coming together -- we send up a quiet prayer from our hearts like, “Help me, Lord. Make me strong.” In moments of frustration, be honest with the Lord! Tell Him, “I can’t be strong right now on my own. I can’t be calm in the way I need to be. I need You.” Ask Him for help. There are a thousand different ways to phrase a quiet prayer to the Lord, but there is no wrong way. Tell Him when you’re thankful for something. Tell Him when something makes you joyful. Tell Him when something brings you unrest, and He will grant you peace. C.S. Lewis said it best: “I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.”
If we are committing our actions to loving Him, then all aspects of our lives will be affected. It will be easier to stay quiet instead of responding to something in anger, and it will be easier to say yes to doing acts of kindness for others. We can learn to be “the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.” (1 Peter 3:4) This quiet stillness in our hearts becomes a peace to which we can always return. This quiet stillness becomes a foundation that cannot be shaken.
He is calling us to a greater purpose of love, to live in a constant state of prayer.
Will we open our hearts to Him?