I’m writing this in the quiet of a hotel room. Peter is attending orientation for Physical Therapy school which begins next week, and at the last minute, I decided to tag along, declaring a mini-vacation of sorts for us. We dropped the kids off in Louisiana with my parents and are enjoying some time together here in Knoxville.
Unlike my home, which is usually bustling with activity from sunup until late at night, this hotel room exudes tranquility. The white walls and white linens on the bed speak order and peace over my unruly heart.
The chaos from our recent move has been replaced by calm.
The stress from long car trips and setting up a new house has been replaced by serenity.
It is exactly what I needed.
I spent the morning studying God’s Word, working on writing projects, completing online courses for my upcoming job, and reading by the hotel pool.
In a word, I feel restored.
Peter and I needed this time away together to talk and dream and relax and reconnect.
And I needed this time away for myself too. I am rediscovering my love for Jesus, taking time to be with Him, and clearing my mind long enough to hear what He’s saying to me. Because it’s really difficult to hear Him amidst the voices and needs of my family which pull me in so many different directions every day.
This morning as I was reading 2 Corinthians, I came across this passage:
“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses.” (2 Cor 10:3-4 NASB)
As I studied this passage, I learned that the word fortress actually has two other meanings: 1) stronghold; and 2) anything on which one relies.
I began to ponder what I might be relying on instead of Jesus. What stronghold in my life needs destroying?
And this is what I realized: Many times, I would rather have a second hand relationship with God. Instead of seeking Him out in His Word, I oftentimes prefer to read a quick online devotion or grab a Christian book, something that encourages me but doesn’t always fill me up.
(And let me be the first to say that there’s nothing wrong with those things, but when they replace our time spent in the Word of God, they become strongholds of sorts.)
I want to “dwell in the shelter of the Most High” so I can “abide in the shadow of the Almighty” (Psalm 91:1). But I can only do this by spending time with Jesus, reading His Word, and listening to His voice.
2 Tim 4:2 tells us to “preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.”
But we can only “preach the word” if we actually know the Word.
As a mom, I want to know God’s Word, and I want to know Jesus. How else will I instill His love in my children? How else will I show them patience and grace?
If you are struggling in your walk with the Lord, let me encourage you to grab your Bible and spend a few minutes at the feet of Jesus. He is waiting.
Father, forgive me for attempting to have a second-hand relationship with You. I want to know You more. Show yourself to me today as I seek You. Amen.