Have you ever tried really hard to stay present in the present? Believe me it is the most difficult thing to do. Almost impossible really, at least for me. The Lord has really deepened my understanding as to why it is so important to stay in the present moment. He revealed to me He can only be with me in the present moment. I cannot find Him in the past or the future. When my mind goes to that past I find such sins as regret, anger resentment, and in the future I find sins such as pride, anxiety, impatience, etc. If I stay in the present moment the Holy Spirit is with me guiding me, revealing to me what the next best choice is. When was the last time you completely unplugged from the world? I’m talking no Facebook, Twitter, TV, music, etc. and allowed the silence to penetrate deep into your souls. I’ve come to understand that Satan has deceived us all by making our lives so busy, so noisy, so cluttered, that we simply aren’t able to find God anymore. God is in the silence, He is in the present moment, and this my dear brothers and sisters in Christ is the “narrow way”. It’s so simple yet so difficult to do. I encourage you to try it! Carve out some time for solitude and for silence. Be with Jesus in the present moment. If we do this enough He will come to us! He will transform us!
When was the last time you were truly present with your children or your husband? With absolutely no outside distractions but also with no inside distractions in the mind. I challenge you to take every thought captive and force yourself to stay with your children and your husband in the moment. Do not think about what you did or should have done yesterday. Do not think about what you are going to make for dinner or who messaged you on Facebook. When fear, anxiety, regret, or sadness creep in force them out by giving them over to God and asking Him to free you from these distractions. Instead look deeply into the face of your child, look into their eyes and penetrate their souls. Memorize their smiles, their giggles, the way their hair falls. These moments will pass and they will never be had again.
I admit I struggle with this but I have taken concrete steps to make it happen because the Lord has burned the importance of it deep into my soul. I have removed Facebook from my hand held device and got my husband to block my access to it because it was an addiction. I’ve left my job to find solitude, silence and time and ultimately I found Jesus in a very real, powerful and intimate way. I pray everyday and seek connection time with my children and husband and make an effort to be present with them. My struggle is not with the past but with the future. I find myself planning my future a lot and trying to take control when it should be Jesus that is in control. When I try and take control of my future I find fear, uncertainty, worry, anxiety and impatience. As soon as these sins make their way in I remember I’m no longer with the Lord so I take the thoughts captive and bring myself back to the present moment where the Lord fills me with His peace and joy. Now that I am familiar with how the joy and the peace of the Lord feels I can recognize when it is gone and when I have gone off the “narrow path”. Peace is like a beacon calling me back to the arms of the of the Lord where I am safe from all distractions and sin.
I’m only able to stay in the present moment for minutes at this point but it’s a start. Ultimately it is the sin of pride that takes my mind into the future because it is rooted in a lack of trust in God. It comes from my need to plan and make things happen or to be anxious about what may happen that I don’t have control of. The Lord constantly reminds me that He is in control and that I need to trust in Him completely and let Him take care of everything. This is the one truth that sustains me, gives me joy and peace and relieves me of all anxiety, impatience and despair. There is such freedom in this truth! To live a life with no worries, fears, despair, anxiety when our world is plagued by these burdens. I myself would not choose to live any other way!!
How about you? Are you a worrier? Do you have anxiety, depression, despair? Do you want to be free of these burdens and experience the joy and peace that Jesus has for you? If so then make whatever changes you need to make to find solitude and silence. Unplug from the world! And seek the Lord through prayer. You will find Him and all He has is good things for you.
*me on dates with each of my girls
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