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Hey friends! Sharing some photos from our trip to Las Vegas from a couple weeks ago. These were taken in the desert at 7 Magic Mountains which was my favorite stop from our time there. The drier air, the warm breeze, the CACTUSES!…..loved it all!
Being there reminded me of my favorite way to connect with God. For me it’s always been through the beauty of nature. I felt led to share a few simple ideas for reconnecting for any of you guys that might be going through a season of isolation in this area.
Listed below are 5 ways to reconnect with God. Hope they help you in some way or help someone you know.
1. We all mess up. Remind yourself that you can restart.
Let’s just get this one out of the way right off the bat. Oh the grace God lavishes upon us, friends. When we mess up, stumble or get too distracted with life’s busyness, God is already there, forgiving our shortcomings. When you start on a mission to read through all of Psalms by such and such date, and on Day 3 you oversleep, spend your devotional time scrolling social media, etc. don’t use it as an excuse to throw your hands up in the air and admit defeat. Get right back on that horse! God does not expect perfection of us. He only ever expects a willingness to pursue progress as it pertains to our relationship with Him and a desire to know Him more.
None of us is perfect and the struggle of discipline is a real one for most of us.
Simply put….just keep going.
2. Spend a few minutes in nature every day.
This is my VERY favorite way to reconnect with God in my life. I’m guessing it’s like that for a lot of us. Am I right? Guys, I believe God created the beautiful earth around us not only to display His power and majesty, but to also give us a place to enjoy and encourage us to connect with him on a deeper level.
I mean even Jesus saw the value of getting out into His Father’s creation to draw near to Him.
“But Jesus often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer.” Luke 5:16 (NLT)
Nature not only demonstrates His power and control, but it also reflects His creativity. Honestly, as silly as it might sound, whenever I’m in nature and see some of the complex creatures God created, it makes me tear up. Just looking around me, knowing God created it all to also bring us joy, reminds me of His love for us.
Something else nature reminds me of? If God takes care of even the tiniest of creatures on earth, how much more will He care for each of us, His children?
Even if you’re not really a nature person, I encourage you to step outside and close your eyes. Listen to all the sounds of nature and spend some time listening to what God has for you today. Sometimes prayer isn’t always about talking to God. Sometimes it’s about just sitting quietly and listening for Him.
3. Prayer is conversation. Just start talking.
Sometimes the simplest things can get lost on me, I’ll be the first to admit it. For some reason I’ve always had this wild idea that if I was doing it correctly, prayer had to be something poetic and articulate. I remember always feeling like I had to apologize to God for the lack of fancy words during my prayer time. As a result, I think that kind of thinking kept me from really digging in deep and speaking to God with my whole heart. It wasn’t until I was sitting in a new church one Sunday that it clicked. Our pastor stopped what message he had prepped and felt led to say to someone (he didn’t know who it was meant for, but it was me) that God didn’t need my fancy words, or rather lack there of, to have a conversation with Him. If I added in a few more “thou’s” to my prayers, He didn’t view them as any better or worse.
As soon as I heard this, my eyes burned with both tears and relief. God knew my struggle was keeping me at a distance from Him. All He wanted was my heart.
And so, I say this to say, if not knowing what to say during prayer time is something that you feel like you fumble with, I encourage you to treat prayer as a simple conversation between best friends. That’s what it’s intended to be after all, right?
And if all you can muster up is, “God, help me today”, that’s plenty. God knows our hearts and just wants to connect and love on us, much like our earthly parents do.
4. Don’t wait until you ‘feel like worshipping’ to begin doing so.
Can I be honest here? Guys, some days I just don’t feel like worshipping.
Yikes. I just typed that outloud. It’s ok, I KNOW that God loves me in spite of my shortcomings.
Too many times I find myself waiting to get “that feeling” so I can then actively worship or have a conversation with God. It’s often in those moments when I pray for Him to draw me near to Him. Whenever I feel far from God, I know that I know that I know, that it is never Him who leaves me. I also know it’s in those moments that He’s patiently waiting, SO longing for me to connect with Him once again. So, while I do definitely have those times that I don’t FEEL like it, I KNOW that doing so right then and there brings me back to that wonderful place of peace and things seem to instantly get better. Now they don’t get instantly better because God does something drastic in my world at that moment, but it gets better because I view things with a better attitude and a peace knowing God is rooting for me!
So in those moments, when you find yourself not “feeling like it”, simply ask God to help you. I promise you He will.
5. Unplug. Unplug. Unplug.
Ahhh….I saved the toughest one for last. Ha! Honestly, it’s the one I struggle with the most. In a world where we are so “connected”, it can feel darn near impossible to turn off the reflex of checking in on all of our social media accounts 24/7. I can hardly ever remember when we didn’t have online access on the go….and yet, I know it DID happen (I still have the old Nokia phone from the late 90’s to prove it!). We actually went through our days without Facebook and Instagram. Crazy, right? Ha!
The biggest problem I see with it all is the insane amount of time we dedicate to these tiny little 3 x 5 screens. Now, I’m sure this is not new news to you and you’re probably thinking, “Gee, thanks for reminding me of how addicted I am to my phone, Jan. I feel like a total winner now”. My apologies for that part. But, I bring it up to gently suggest being intentional about taking a break from it all each day and devote those few minutes to prayer instead.
If you find that you need some kind of intervention to get the task done, there are a number of apps that help you get a handle on it, or at least let you know how long you’ve been scrolling Instagram, for instance. (I cringe just thinking about what this number would look like for me. Eeek!)
Start small if that feels more do-able initially. Block out 10 minutes to devote to prayer or devotional time. I promise, Suzie Q’s funny meme about coffee will still be there when you get back to Facebook!
(Photos by Alyssa Fisher Photo)
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