Thursday, March 17, 2016

Yesterday's Lunch

Last week was MK Spirit Week. For me, it was BUSY BUSY BUSY! So I asked a friend, and fellow BMW, if she would help out with the blog post for this week. I had no idea what she would turn in to me. After reading what she submitted, I am sure glad I asked! I am sure there are many who struggle with the same thing, and could use the wisdom.

I hope you enjoy!
(Thanks, Jamie, for being REAL!)


Yesterday's Lunch

I have a confession that I am not so proud of. Of course, which “confessions” are you ever proud of, truthfully? Well this one goes against the “perfect missionary” persona that is out there. I sometimes have a hard time being consistent in my devotion or quiet time with the Lord. There I said it. No, I’m not proud of it, nor condone it—but I am working at it.

There are days when it is easy. I wake up refreshed, the kids sleep in, I leave my phone in the other room, and I get a lot of study time in. I am able to study, pray and have a nice time, and leave with something I want to share with others.

Then there are days where I wake up late, tired, or kids wake up early and whiney, or I grab my phone and get distracted with social media or email or chatting with my mom halfway across the world. I run out of time and the day, children, my husband, life calls me to my duty.

I have found that if I leave my room before I sit with the Lord I will not make time to do it later. I have tried, “Oh, I’ll do it at school time, or nap time, or before bed, but once I leave my bedroom in the morning there is a good chance it won’t happen at all. Please tell me I’m not the only one like this. I know others struggle with a daily consistent quiet time.

I do think back on it during the day. It’s like the Lord is calling me to spend time with him. Then I start thinking of the nice time, the nice “lunch” I had with him the day before. I think, “I don’t have time now, but at least I can think about what I learned yesterday.”

This isn’t bad. God wants us to remember what He taught us and not to forget. He even wants us to share it with others, but he also wants us to get it fresh from him. This lesson is for me—I can’t live on yesterday’s lunch. I need a fresh serving every day.

Lamentations 3:23-23
“It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.
They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.”

So we have all been there. You missed your first three alarms for the morning, the kids are screaming, you didn’t spend time with the Lord in the morning, you ran all day and are about to drop at night….Now what?

I have found a new way of study that I love. It causes me to dwell on God’s Word more, to be still and listen more, but it also takes more time and “equipment”—Bible, notebook, colored pencils, dictionary, drawing pad…etc. And there are days, I just don’t have that time—whether it’s an excuse or legitimate. For a while, I would just do nothing when I didn’t have my “equipment” at hand or the time to delve in. I didn’t want to just read ahead, because I didn’t want my journal to be missing info, and God forbid I actually read it twice. Those days I would skip a “meal” altogether.

But I’ve come up with a remedy. It’s like on days you have time you make a good meal. On other days you grab fast food! Well I’ve decided to have a separate spot in my Bible designated for Fast Food—the book of Joshua, and one place for a home-cooked meal—Ephesians.

Last night was a “no time” day. But before bed, I stood at the light switch with my Bible in hand--too tired to  sit down and then get up again afterwards to turn the light off--and read a chapter and prayed. It wasn’t grand. It wasn’t glorious. But it was something.

No one is ever proud of a fast food meal. There is tons of research on why it is unhealthy, but it will keep you from starving! My encouragement to you today is to get IN God’s Word, whether it is a long, beautiful, peaceful, kid-free hour, or 5 minutes before you drop in bed dead tired. God doesn’t want us to live on yesterday’s lunch, he wants us to get a fresh meal each day—even if it is just fast food. The point is to get in God’s Word and make it a daily habit—just like eating lunch every day.

Jamie Knickerbocker
Southern Asia



Charity said...

Jamie, thank you for your honesty! I used to struggle with this same thing and my solution is EXACTLY what you proposed. I made it a rule that before my feet hit the floor, I had to do my devotions. I had everything set up and ready right beside my bed. But when you have young children, things don't always go as planned. So my back up rule was... even if it is only a few minutes... never ever ever go to bed without having been in God's Word. These two rules created a good habit. And from the good habit blossomed a beautiful devotion life. Now that my children have grown up some, there aren't quite as many emergencies or distractions, and I have a good habit in place. We were told in Bible college that if you didn't have a good devotional habit isn't developed by age 18, a person would struggle with it the rest of their lives. I proved them wrong. You are on the right track... keep pressing forward!

Joyful said...

I love this post. Very real and solution oriented. I like Charity's instructive comment too. Blessings.

Olivia said...

What a great reminder! Thank you. I so appreciate all the posts on here. I'm a missionaries daughter in England and it always encouraging to me to see other people who understand what it is like :)

Shari House said...

I really enjoyed reading this article and loved the analogy of fast food being better than the fumes of yesterday's lunch.

Sally Stensaas said...

Thank you for writing. I have found myself to be the same way - if I leave my room in the morning before devotions, it is VERY difficult to find that time again. One thing that has helped me has been a Bible reading app. I often will have my phone read to me when I am in the shower or when I am getting ready in the morning or when the Muslim prayer call is just too loud to concentrate otherwise. This doesn't take the place of my regularly scheduled devotions, but it reinforces what I have been studying (perhaps I was a little distracted) or it is my "snack" until I can devote concentrated time to studying. Sometimes hearing the Bible read reveals things to me that I missed when reading on my own.

Julie Alexander said...

Thanks for your transparency. I struggle as well, putting other things first, but I tend to beat myself up if I don't have those 5 course meals every day. As I was beating myself up, the Lord reminded me once again that my relationship with him was not works based. That I had to quit looking at my time with him as a checklist item I have to complete. I love the fast food analogy. Not ideal but keeps you from starving. Thankful his mercies are new every morning!