After being very active in business and ministry, I found myself several years ago crippled, in a lot of pain and able to do very little for myself or for anyone else. It was hard. I remember talking with a friend on the phone, lamenting the fact that I could no longer do anything… except cry. And I’d become really good at that! She listened patiently and then told me, “I think God has you exactly where He wants you.” Not what I wanted to hear, but I knew she was right.
I had no choice but to trust God and learn to rest in Him. It was a time of forced rest, reflection and drawing near to God. At first it was difficult—I missed the action and excitement. But little by little I found a growing joy in simply hanging out with God—just being in His presence. And I experienced facets of His love I’d never known before.
Through that time, I discovered a counter-intuitive key to living peacefully, one we desperately need in our highly competitive, stressful world: the strength, calm and joy that come from simply being with God. Taking time daily, even as little as 15 minutes, to do nothing but bask in His presence has been, and is, a life-saver for me. Sitting before God with no agenda, other than to enjoy Him, is both calming and energizing at the same time.
Today’s busy lifestyle makes it easy to lose our peace and become stressed and anxious. Like many, I struggle at times with that Martha/Mary syndrome—I want to do something, but know I need to stop and spend time with God. In His presence, I see life from His perspective—what’s important and what isn’t become clear. In that place, it’s easy to let go of concerns and allow God to carry my burdens.
I’ve been asked what I do and think about when I bask or soak in God’s presence. I don’t pray or try to achieve anything. I just put myself in a place of childlike dependence, welcome the Holy Spirit and surrender to Him. On occasion, I ask God to show me more of His love. Sometimes I play soft worship music. Sometimes silence. I simply take a little ‘Sabbath’ in my day—a time of intimacy to enjoy and deepen a cherished relationship.
I could never have imagined years ago that God would use that painful time in my life to teach me such a precious and life-giving lesson. But I’m grateful for it now. And I highly recommend ‘basking in God’s presence.’ The rewards are priceless!
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me — watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Matthew 11:28-30 The Message Bible.
How do you spend time in God’s presence? Let me know in the ‘Comment’ box below.