By Pam Otto
My intentions were good, the timing was perfect, and there was no agenda for the day. Ahhh, my short vacation had begun and I was certain that my morning time alone with God on the beach was going to be “productive and anointed.” My checklist was short: Bible, blanket, journal, coffee- Yep, perfect!
My plan was to start my day devouring Gods Word while hearing the waves ease upon the sandy shore, certain that God would reveal to me all that I’d been seeking from Him. I sat, looked around, inhaled, read and prayed with anticipation.
As I sat, I found my mindwandering…hmm, butterfly, bug, noise, breeze…I kept catching myself thinking “Come on, reel it in, focus! Why do my thoughts wander off so much? Is my brain working right? Do I have ADD? I seem so distracted in spite of my intent on concentrating on hearing from God!”
Others started walking on the beach, collecting shells, running, stretching, moving…it seemed these distractions were just enough to deter my focus on hearing from God.
In my frustration and desire to accomplish my goal, I picked up one of my favorite old devotionals and began reading the days entry; it said, “God is waiting in the depths of your being to speak to you if you would be still enough to hear His voice.” Oh good, confirmation!
But wait, there’s more: It went on to say “Don’t be caught off guard by a thousand voices and sounds from without and within; words, questions, voices of the world, struggles, even temptations of the enemy.” No way! ~ maybe I’m not the only one who struggles with distractions and diversions.
God brought me to Psalm 46:10 which says “Be still and know that I am God!” This verse jumped off the page as a reminder that my job was to be still, (wait, lean into, be attentive) and know,(believe, acknowledge, fully trust) Him. You see, the enemy is out to get us any way he can, and he will use any tactic, including something as benign as small distractions, noises or a lack of focus.
We need to be on guard for the big and small ways that keep us from that true deep connection with God that each of us need and desire. The great part is that Gods Word is more-than-enough, and our Great Big God is more-than-able to meet each of us right where we are, distractions included!
James 4:8 says “Come near to God and He will come near to you!” Lets claim His Word and His promises over our sometimes hurried, scurried thoughts and lives. Lets devour all that He has for us as we diligently meet with Him in the busy seasons as well as the scheduled slower seasons of our lives.
I determined that the hard part isn’t really ‘hearing God’… the hard part is often learning to be still enough in order to really listen!