How is your summer going so far? Better yet, how is your studying going? I hope that you have battled at least a little bit of struggle because I know that I have! And I believe that struggle makes you stronger.
I want to share a quick story with you about something God has laid on my heart this week, and then I would like to offer a few tips that may help you in your summer studying.
I got an image of myself this week that showed something about me which I really don’t like. You see, I have this problem with perfection. For me, it is not so much flawless-perfection as it is..…completeness-perfection. You following me? I don’t mind a few broken pieces or tiny rips in the fabric (figuratively speaking), as long as the project is finished. Whole. Complete. Get it?
Then this picture, this ugly, embarrassing picture, showed that I was going to too far great lengths in order to achieve the completeness. And it was unnecessary and, in fact, it was even un-Christian of me.
I want you to read Psalm 23. Even if you’ve read it before, find yourself a quiet spot and pray that the Lord will open your heart and mind to hear Him. Then read Psalm 23.
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul… (v.1-3)
Does that passage do for you what it does for me? It speaks peace to me, and breathes life into my weary, stressed out bones. It sets a beautiful image in my mind. You see, I need not worry about dotting every “i” and crossing every “t.” The Lord is MY shepherd, and He will fill in the holes that I cannot. He is the Beginning and the End (Revelations 22:13); He IS completion.
If I will let Him, if I will stop trying to “do it all” and give that time to my Shepherd instead, He will make me to lie down in green pastures and restore my soul. And in restoring my soul, He is setting me up to be the kind of person who will return to His house and dwell with Him forever!
Thank you, Lord, for being my Shepherd and for filling me up and filling me in where I am broken, incomplete, and imperfect. I certainly don’t deserve it, so I also thank you for your grace. Amen.
Before I go, I’d like to offer a few practical tips on fitting quiet time in to your daily routine. It should go without saying that first and foremost, your heart must be in it. If, for whatever reason, you are unwilling to open your heart and ears to Him or if there are any distractions in your way, I daresay it will be a fruitless time.
Once your heart and mind are in the right place, find a nice quiet spot where you can be alone for a bit. If you are a musical kind of person, you might want a place where you have a stereo and can play some soft praise and worship or instrumental music. I would suggest picking a specific time frame for your quiet time, and reserve that same block of time every single day for that purpose. When I lived at home with my mom and two younger brothers, I made a point to tell them when my quiet time was and to please not bother me until I opened my door to let them know I was finished. Make sure that your Bible, a pen/pencil and highlighter, and clean paper are at hand. You never know what divine revelations may work their way in to your heart, and you will definitely want to highlight points in your Bible and detail them in writing so that you may never forget!
I pray that these thoughts have your mind in motion! If you have any other ideas or would like to share what works for you in fitting quiet time in to your daily routine, please let us know in the comments. Your suggestion may be the very thing that one of your sisters in Christ needs to hear!