Lately, I’ve had a lot of thoughts on my mind about my current “state of faith” that I haven’t shared much about. Since taking my job about 5 months ago, I have only gotten busier and had to deal with new circumstances all the time. At first, fitting in any kind of communication with God seemed impossible. This same time a year ago, I was used to spending an hour+ reading the Bible, praying, journaling about faith-related things each day. Now, I consider myself lucky if I pray both to and from work and read a devotional 3 times a week.
To someone who doesn’t know me, you might look at those two scenarios and judge. The first situation – spending countless hours of the week devoted to God – seems like the “right” and the “Christian” thing to do. Right? And not spending that much in the word or having less time for prayer seems kind of crummy, doesn’t it?
From an outside perspective, it can easily seem like my faith is dwindling. Sometimes I do look at my life and think, wow, how’s it goin’ up there God? Haven’t been talking to you much these days! But most of the time, I feel like things have actually gotten better than they were before.
Before, I felt like I could never spend enough time in the Word or praying or whatever it was. I had too much time. And so the Lord took that free time away from me and called me to my workplace. I have less time for “Christian” things, long prayers, and for reading 3 different Christian books at all times. But that doesn’t make me any less of a Christian. And it doesn’t change my relationship with the Lord.
Being perfectionistic, I have struggled with performance-based, earn-my-way-to-God faith. And the more time I spent trying to be a “good Christian,” the more time I felt I had to try. It was just never enough.
And now? I barely have enough time to maintain my daily schedule, stay on top of laundry, and take a moment for myself now and then. Having less time has actually shown me that I appreciate my time spent with the Lord, however long or short it may be. I still think about God. I still pray. I still read scripture. It’s just not as big of a focus right now, but I feel that that is completely the Lord’s plan too.
He has called me to serve in my workplace, get connected in the new community I live in, and also juggle marathon training. If a year ago, someone told me I was going to be doing all that, my first instinct would have been to say, “But when will I have time for all the other things in life?”
The Lord has truly turned around the way my time is being used right now. And it’s been such a good, eye-opening thing. I feel He has done this to show me that He is still there whether or not I read my Bible today. He is always available to listen even if I didn’t start my day with prayer. And most of all, He is teaching me that it’s completely wrong to judge others based on how “Christian” they look or don’t look from the outside.
With how busy I’ve been lately, I bet I don’t appear all too “Christian” from the outside. I say Christian in quotes because I mean only having the appearance of being a Christian. To me, there is a lot more to being Christian than from what you can see on the outside. Outwardly, I am not spouting off Bible verses and praying. But inwardly, He is still doing great work in me, particularly – giving me incredible amounts of patience and peace in times of trouble or irritation, giving me strength when I am physically tired and weak, providing encouragement, energy, and hope to keep going even when I am so exhausted from life.
My life may look different, but my faith has remained the same. How I carry out my faith has definitely changed. But it has been such a good change. I don’t want things to always be this busy. I do crave more time with the Lord. But for right now, I am content with having much less time that I am used to for prayer, reading, and journaling.
If I could have kept things the same as they were before my job, I would have. I would have greedily wanted more and more Bible study time and long lists of things to pray about. But He didn’t want that. He has broken me of my striving to do more and be more for Him, something I cannot even do. Some days, my capacity is overloaded, and I can do nothing more than just think of Him and let that alone be enough.
This season has shown me that God is enough, so the pressure is off of me to perform. He’s shown me that I have such little capacity right now, but He has unlimited capacity. And the more I accept and trust in that truth, the more I have been able to let Him provide for me, which feels so good.
He has shown me that in this particular season in my life, less is actually more. Simple is actually better. Imperfect is actually His way.
Questions for You:
- What lessons do you feel God is teaching you currently?
- When has less actually been “more” for you?