This is one of the most common questions I get asked. How do you spend quiet time with God? Like…HOW? Sometimes people ask this from the perspective of truly wondering how to do it when they feel restless or can’t seem to to schedule it in or shut their minds off. For those people, my advice is this: schedule in even 10 minutes to read a devotional, a Proverbs a day, a Psalms a day, some worship music, SOMETHING. And then keep it up for 90 days in a row. It’s truly that simple. Just. Follow. Through.
But that’s not what I want to talk about today…
Today I want to answer that same question from this perspective: how do you spend quiet time with God…when it seems like He is ignoring you and not even showing up for the date?
Confession: I have felt like God has been silent most of the year. It’s like He shows up to our dates together but He is giving me the silent treatment. And I haven’t really known what to do with that. It has made me feel invisible. I’ve felt lonely from it. And most of all it has made me wonder what I’ve done wrong. But over the last few days, as I pondered writing this blogpost, I have come to realize something. Maybe the point isn’t that we get something from God and we feel him. Maybe the point, when God feels silent, is that we keep showing up and pressing in anyway.
So that’s what I’ve done this year. And here’s how I’ve done it…
- Consistency. I’ve kept reading my Bible plan even when the words didn’t really speak to me that day (or for days in a row).
- Vocalizing. I have given voice to God’s Word by reading many of the scriptures out loud this year. This has done wonders for my own faith and encouraged me more than I realized.
- Vulnerability. I’ve told God when I feel like he is standing me up or staying silent, and then I listened and wrote down anything I felt or heard. And on days when I didn’t feel or hear anything…
- Gratitude. I’ve written lots of gratitude lists this year reminding God, and myself, of what I’m thankful for.
Our feelings often lie. And when God feels silent, or when we can’t seem to hear anything from him, it might just be that we are entering a season of following through without the warm fuzzies so we can build our faith. This isn’t the first season like this that I have gone through, and it won’t be the last. And just like the greats of faith who have questioned where God was at certain times, and then learned how to keep pressing in no matter what, I’m choosing to show up and consistently give voice to His word so that my faith can grow deep and strong.
I pray that this encourages you to do the same when you find yourself in a similar season.