“Have you prayed about it as much as you have talked about it?” – Unknown
When life gets unbearable, what do find yourself doing? Not what you say you will do, but what you actually do when all hell breaks loose in your life. If you are anything like me, what you say you will do and what you actually do, does not necessarily match up. I wish they did, but sometimes my expectations do not match my actions.
It certainly has nothing to do with my lack of vigilant prayer or good intentions. It’s just that sometimes things work out how they work out. These moments test my resolve like no other, and all that I have and hope to be, seem to lie in the balance, but it is moments like these that truly test where I am, versus who I claim to be.
Am I strong like I say I am, or are those just words? Do I remain vigilant in rough times or do I falter at the first sign of difficulty? I must admit, it is a little of both, depending on the circumstances, but one thing I have learned is having a quiet place to pray, mediate and reflect is essential for my peace of mind and staying focused during a challenging season.
As I endure tough times and pass through moments that test my ability to stand, one thing I have found to help more than anything else is my alone time with God. I am not simply speaking about a few moments of prayer time in the early AM of PM, but a one on one encounter that literally redirects my focus and outlook.
This only happens in my secret place, and unfortunately I do not always make the appropriate time for this encounter to occur, but it is nonetheless essential for my overall well-being and balance in life.
Life issues tend to become distracting and noisy, and as humans we tend to place our focus on those “things” that seem to mean more in the moment, but we ultimately must surrender to a power higher than us for true peace and clear direction.
I can list the many distractions that tend to mean more, (at least in the moment) like work, family, a spouse, children, bills, etc. But when life issues come at me in such a way where I fail to be at my best, nothing else is more important than me, because my actions will impact everyone else that I claim to care about. It is kind of like what they tell us just before a flight. “Get your own oxygen first, then help others.”
My secret place is just that, my oxygen. It is where my dreams, hopes and beliefs our birthed and nurtured, and that experience must be deliberate and purposeful, otherwise my mind will be moved with every wave and idea that comes my way.
My time alone with whom I personally believe is my all in all is imperative to an existence filled with purpose during my dark days, hope when all seems to be falling away beside me and personal joy when happiness is just not sustaining.
I am not here to tell you how often you should be going to your secret place, only that you should. The signs of you going without have a way of mounting up quickly. These signs tend to manifest themselves in ways like ease in becoming irritable, losing sight of what is more important and becoming overwhelmed in times when you normally would not.
We tend to know the signs, but fail to respond appropriately when we are there. I am encouraging you to not wait until something drastic happens, but become more proactive and vigilant about your peace of mind. Be more about the preventative work, and acknowledge that you matter more. Someone is relying on you to be at your best, and we will never be at our best when we come half cocked.
Go to your secret place and be still. Hear from God and learn what it is you need to know. Your world will be a better place for it.