When I was a teenager I didn’t think that I wanted to be a mom. I wanted a career and a marriage but honestly, I wanted it to all be about me and not have to compromise my comfort for someone else. But here I am sixteen years later with two wonderful girls sleeping upstairs and I couldn’t imagine anything better.
I love the relationships that we have. I love our conversations and our inside jokes. I love spending time together. Sometimes, when we are driving and singing at the top of our lungs, I start to drive a little slower the closer we get to the house and I go around the block just one more time because I don’t want our time to end just yet. I absolutely love being their mom!
So when God showed me that I blow Him off the same way I can blow them off it didn’t just sting, it cut me deep.
Now here is what I’m not talking about…You know those crazy evenings when you are scrambling to make it out of the house on time and everything has you overstimulated? Those times when your kids look at you in your disheveled, frazzled state and think, “This looks like the perfect time to ask that really complicated question, or to nag, or whine, or whatever.” We’ve all been there and we’ve all exasperatedly told our children “later.” But again that is not what I’m talking about.
What I am talking about is this…when that selfish old me rises up and I tell my kids, who I love more than anything but Jesus (and Joe), “later” because I just don’t feel like it—because what I’m doing is more important. It’s that look of disappointment that God reminded me of, the hurt on my daughter’s face when all she wants is some of my time and attention but I’m too tired or busy or (let’s be honest here) too distracted to give her my time. It’s those ‘later’s’ that God was talking about. Those are the ‘later’s’ that I’ve been saying to Him.
“My heart had heard you say, “Come and talk with me.”
And my heart responds, “Lord, I am coming.”
- Psalm 27:8 NLT
I distinctly remember the first time I read this verse—the joy that broke out in my heart made a lasting impression. The God of the universe wants to speak to me! I know who I am, there is nothing remarkable about me and yet this God, who knows me better than I even know myself, who has seen every misstep, every sin still beckons to me to come! God wants me to speak to Him!
He hasn’t changed, but somewhere along the way, my perception of this was lost underneath everything that I was doing. While I still heard the call, instead of answering, “Lord, I am coming.” I began to answer with, “Later, God.”
“Yes, I hear Your call to prayer…Later, God.”
“Yes, I know I should be reading your Word…Later, God.”
“Yes, I know I should worship You…Later, God.”
The problem with later is that it makes way for maybe. The more that we put Him off the more that He becomes optional.
I know for me the problem started to come in when I started to find my rest in other places. At one time the only place that I could find rest from the chaos that was my life was in the arms of my Savior, but along the way, it started to feel like work and less like rest. Rest became anything that would shut down my overstimulated brain, rather than the place at my Savior's feet. Prayer started to feel like work and not rest. Reading my Bible started to feel like an activity that needed to be completed rather than a meal with my King. It was easy to say later to just another thing that I needed to accomplish throughout the day—to not make it the priority that it should be.
We live in a day and age where overstimulation is the norm. We are always on the go, with a cellphone in our pocket that is constantly vying for our attention, not to mention jobs and children and relationships and ministry. There is so much pulling us this way and that.
But, beloved, we must look to Jesus. What did He do? Binge Netflix and scroll TikTok? No! He went away to be alone with His Father to rest. Doesn’t sound like rest to you? Well, how many other things are we told to do that sound illogical and countercultural?
It’s time we do it anyway, not just for the sake of doing but to find our peace and rest there. It’s time that we stop putting Him off and run again to His sanctuary and sit there awhile. Everything else will work itself out if we only seek the Kingdom above all else—if we only stay a little while longer with Him. It’s time we replace “Later, God” with “Lord, I am coming,” and begin to find our peace in the shadow of His wings and to rest in His arms—in the place that we’ve belonged all along.
I know that’s been my challenge but I will not give up until it becomes second nature once again, until my heart leaps at the call and I run to His throne to seek the face of my King and find the rest that my heart needs, until I would give up anything for just one more trip around the block. I know it’s not going to be easy, not with all the distractions that are always coming my way, but I know it will be worth it because He is always worth it!
Lord, I am coming!
Written by Amanda Strauser