Making space

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Not that I need to disclaimer anything on my own blog, but I don’t often write tons about my faith, at least not in depth. So, if it’s not your thing, here’s your warning: Jesus ahead.

When I started going to church, I wasn’t a Christian. I wasn’t anything. I didn’t believe in God, I just knew that I felt a need to be there. Our pastor’s sermons are so applicable to every day life that I immediately felt like I was getting something out of being there, and I found myself thinking of the messages days afterward. Obviously things have changed in that I now do believe in God and am a Christian, but I still feel that way, and often go back to look at my sermon notes to remember a particular part that moved me.

Recently, a friend introduced me to a book called Jesus Calling. It’s a daily devotional, with a different message for each day of the year. The Amazon description reads:

After many years of writing her own words in her prayer journal, missionary Sarah Young decided to be more attentive to the Savior’s voice and begin listening for what He was saying. So with pen in hand, she embarked on a journey that forever changed her—and many others around the world.

In these powerful pages are the words and Scriptures Jesus lovingly laid on her heart. Words of reassurance, comfort, and hope. Words that have made her increasingly aware of His presence and allowed her to enjoy His peace.

Jesus is calling out to you in the same way. Maybe you share the author’s need for a great sense of “God with you”. Or perhaps Jesus seems distant without you knowing why. Or maybe you have wandered farther from Him that you ever imagined you would. Here is a year’s worth of daily readings from Young’s journals to bring you closer to Christ and move your time with Him from monologue to a dialogue.

Essentially, every day there is a message to read that is written as though it is Jesus speaking to you. I had heard my friend mention this book a couple times, and she had talked about how some days the message was exactly what she needed to read that particular day. After a couple conversations about it, I went online and bought the book and popped it onto my iPad.

When I opened it to the current day (March 24th), I read the first line and burst into tears.

There is a time in your life when you must learn to let go: of loved ones, of possessions, of control. In order to let go of something that is precious to you, you need to rest in My Presence, where you are complete. Take time to bask in the Light of My Love. As you relax more and more, your grasping hand gradually opens up, releasing your prized possession into My Care.

You can feel secure, even in the midst of cataclysmic changes, through awareness of My continual Presence. The One who never leaves you is the same One who never changes: I am the same yesterday, today and forever. As you release more and more things into My care, remember that I never let go of your hand. Herein lies your security, which no one and no circumstance can take from you.

It was a tough week, full of letting go, and somehow in that book, I also found exactly the message I needed that day.

Two days later, it said:

Waiting on Me means directing your attention to Me in hopeful anticipation of what I will do. It entails trusting Me with every fiber of your being, instead of trying to figure things out yourself. Waiting on Me is the way I designed to live: all day, every day. I created you to stay conscious of Me as you go about your daily duties.

I have promised many blessings to those who wait on Me: renewed strength, living above one’s circumstances, resurgence of hope, awareness of My continual presence. Waiting on Me enables you to glorify Me by living in deep dependence on Me, ready to do My will. It also helps you to enjoy Me; in My Presence is fullness of Joy.

I need these reminders all the time, but that week especially was killing me, and reading those messages felt like a deep relaxing sigh.

In an effort to remember the main point of each message throughout the day, last weekend, I read a day ahead, and then took the couple of lines that stood out to me the most, and made them into a wallpaper for my phone:

Every time I turned my phone screen on, it was there for me to see, and it brought me peace to have the reminder to make a quiet space for God in my heart throughout the day. In fact, I liked it so much that I did it for the next day as well:

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And the next, and the next, and the next:

And today, my phone has looked like this:

Another friend who has the book has told me that she’s also had several days where she’s felt like the page for a particular day told her exactly what she needed to hear that day. I like that the messages are general and kind of universal, but have a different personal meaning to each person that reads them.

I don’t know if I’ll do it forever, or even through the end of this week. But for now, it’s bringing me comfort. I smile every time I press the home button on my phone and see it pop up, and take a deep breath as I recentre myself and my thoughts. And that’s a good enough reason to continue it.