“(Jesus) withdrew to a region near the wilderness…where he stayed with his disciples” (John 11:54).
It was an unintended typographical error with unexpected meaning. In describing a daily period of prayer and Bible reading, the author meant to type “quiet time,” but a crucial letter in the first word was omitted. Quiet Time became Quit Time.
In our sound and activity-infested world, how often our moments with God become only another project on the day’s list, something to “check off” when completed. Into what should be hallowed space and time, we bring scattered thoughts, our personal directory of prayer requests, and the scheduled reading of chapters and verses. Instead of quitting the world around us (and thus becoming quiet), we have merely increased the activity, and perhaps given ourselves a false sense of having truly been with Jesus.
When opposition to His life and ministry was taking on the visible dimension of death, Jesus followed a well-established pattern: he withdrew from the chaos. He retreated into a place where He could be with His friends and sense the presence of His Father. Instead of facing his accusers before the appointed time, he quit. And became quiet.
Becoming quiet is not easy. It takes practice and discipline to repeatedly bow before the Lord. Thoughts of the day’s schedule creep—and sometimes barge—into the space where we are meeting with God. One friend said that instead of seeing such scattered thoughts as enemies (or evidence of spiritual immaturity), she allows them into her mind and lays them before God as prayer thoughts. Laundry is on the list? Thank God for the supply of soap and hot water and pray for those who have no water at all. The question of what shall be prepared for supper becomes gratitude for daily bread and petition for children who have no food.
With our practice and God’s grace, we find ourselves quitting our busy world and becoming quiet in His presence.
Lord, I desperately need to consistently quit the hectic schedule of my life and enter into your quietness. Thank you for your Holy Spirit who takes my weak desire and puny actions and transforms them into gifts to lay at your feet.
Questions: What is quiet time like for you? How does your quiet time affect the rest of your day? How could you be more creative in being more disciplined with your time with the Lord?
About the Author Marilyn Ehle
Daily audio podcast: A second daily devotional, Not Hard at All, today on the Men’s Devotional Blog