Are You Killing Time?

I hate the times in my day when I have just a little gap of time before moving from one task to the other, or driving from one place to another, whether it is as excruciating as an hour or as frustrating as 20 minutes. But I absolutely hate trying to find things to do to kill time. Those are the times when a smartphone might come in handy (dare I even say it) so I could just surf the web for a little while. For those unfortunate times when I didn't bring a book with me, what else is there to do but twiddle my thumbs or chill in my car? Idle time for me is like pulling teeth.

One afternoon, I was at home, almost ready to drive away to God knows where, and I had to kill about 10 or 15 minutes of time. I groaned as I thought to myself, Well, I can always just log onto Facebook, however pathetic that sounds. But as I reached for my laptop and opened the lid, some kind of supernatural reality hit me. Hard. I can't really put it into words, but all of a sudden, I remembered God.

I remembered that God is always around me.

I remembered that He created the universe.

I remembered that He created me.

I remembered that He loved me.

I remembered that He gave His very life for the idle moments, for the moments that hang in the balance, the moments I need to "kill" -- for in those moments, He desires to speak to me. And vice versa. He rejoices for the moments out of our busy lives when we look around and say, Wow, I have nothing to do, nowhere to go, no one to talk to.

God inhabits those moments.

It is these very moments that we were created for.

We were not meant to stress ourselves out, to make ourselves so busy, to hurry out the door to beat the morning traffic and scurry to make it on time to our 9 to 5 shifts. We were not meant to become glued to our computer screens on social networking sites. We were not meant to be bent over our smartphones all day waiting for a new text, a new facebook notification, a business call, even a message from a boyfriend/girlfriend. So since when did we make these things so important, so consuming of our time?

And I complain about the moments when I have time to kill?! Sounds to me like I've been mercilessly slaughtering time already with these pointless pursuits!

Okay, I'm not saying I need to quit my job, sell my car, ditch my phone, or dump my boyfriend (my figurative one, that is). What I am saying is that I want to start living for the moments I was created for: time alone with my God and Savior, my Maker and Husband, the One who died for the time which I am so anxious to kill.

If I ever have a moment of down-time in my pathetically busy day, I would so love to do what this verse says: "Be still, and know that I am God." (Psalm 46:10)

To do what this verse says is to stop, pause, be still, and remember. Remember who God is. Remember what He has done. Remember that He is great, that He will be exalted among the nations and in the entire earth. Remember that He is omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent. But most of all, remember that God is love. And that's not just a petty cliché. That statement packs a powerful punch. Read His Word, His love letter, and you'll see what I mean.

I want to check my time. I want to live my life the way it was meant to be lived. I want to spend every spare moment I can praising the God of time or engaging in precious, timeless conversation with Him. He is the reason I live, after all. 

Are you killing time? Or are you using it for its true purpose?

"And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life ..."
Genesis 2:7

"Know that the Lord, He is God; it is He who has made us, and not we ourselves ..." 
Psalm 100:3

"For your Maker is your husband, the Lord of hosts is His name ..."
Isaiah 54:5

" ... Yet I will not forget you. See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands."
Isaiah 49:15-16   


A Little Poem From God's Great Love Letter

I just finished the book of Hosea in my devotions (and I may just read it over again, it was so enlightening!), and I happened to look back at a passage I highlighted in chapter 11. This may be one of my favorite poems by none other than my favorite poet: God Himself. Passages like this remind me that the Bible is one long love letter from God, the lover of our souls. He is by far the most forgiving, gentle-hearted, romantic Person I know.

Verses 3 and 4 of Hosea chapter 11 read something like this (God is speaking):

"I taught Ephraim to walk,
Taking them by their arms;
But they did not know that I healed them.
I drew them with gentle cords,
With bands of love,
And I was to them as those who take the yoke from their neck.
I stooped and fed them."

This is by far the sweetest, most precious piece of poetry I have ever read -- and it was written by God Himself. More than that, it was written for me, His child. It was written for you. It was written for all the children of Ephraim, or Israel, whom He loved and loves to this day so dearly.

I love the tenderness of the image conveyed in the first two lines. Have you ever observed a parent teaching their young child to walk? It is one of the most precious things you will ever see. The parent takes the little toddler by the hands ever so gently, and with a loving voice, coaxes them to take those revolutionary steps forward. How incredible that God does so with us! He is there to help us walk through each new step of our Christian faith, because our little legs can certainly be unsteady sometimes. He holds our arms, guides us, and will be ready to catch us should we fall.

He draws us not with the chains of bondage, but with gentle cords, with bands of love. Have you ever heard language so sweet? This is God's message to us! He is all gentleness and love. And He draws us; He does not force us, screech at us, or use invectives toward us. He takes the yoke off of our neck; He does not put it on. He sets the captives free (Isaiah 61:1) and takes away all of our burdens (Matthew 11:28).

And the craziest image may be in the last part of verse 4: He "stooped and fed them." Can you imagine? The God of the heavens, the Supreme Creator of the universe, the omniscient Being who reigns over all the earth with omnipotence, stoops down on His knees to feed us? The Almighty God humbles Himself by bending down to give us nourishment. What is His nourishment? He feeds us with His love, His Word, His kindness, His mercy ... the list is endless. What kind of God is this? It causes me to remember one of the most touching scenes of humility in the Bible: Jesus washing the disciples' feet in Matthew 13.

Once again, we see this image of God stooping, for Jesus is indeed God manifested as a man. It boggles my mind each time I think that when we look at Jesus, we look into the eyes and heart of God Himself. The God of the universe stoops down at the feet of His disciples and proceeds to wash their dirty feet, feet that had trampled down dusty roads, feet that had stepped in mud, in filth, in sin, in flesh, in carnality. He stooped down and lovingly washed all the grime off, to cleanse them. He wanted so desperately for them to be a part of Him, to be united with Him in friendship, to have His righteousness. So He washed their dirty feet. And He wants to do the same for us each and every day.

God is love -- the pure, unadulterated definition of love. How crazy is that?

What's your favorite love poem from the great love letter that God has written to you?