One of my favorite joys is to encourage people to begin their day with God, and then to hear their testimony of what God does in them during that time. I’ve seen it over and over again – people who give God quality time every day have amazing stories to share!
My friend Carol* refused to get up early to spend time with God. She loved her sleep! So I started praying for God to wake her up early. “Kick her out of bed, Lord!” I often prayed. Then one day around 5 a.m., she heard a donkey braying. She had never seen or heard a donkey in her country neighborhood. After several mornings of the donkey braying, she realized God must be trying to get her up.
After several months of getting up early (yes, the donkey keep braying), Carol had a renewed love experience with God! Her church pastor asked her to share her testimony with the church family.
I arranged my schedule so I could be there. My heart rejoiced as I listened to Carol speak about her renewed love for Jesus. I was feeling pretty proud that I had been able help to her. As I was listening, God said to me, “Janet, you have lost your first love?” I was so shocked! “How can that be, Lord? I work for you all the time. I spend time with you every morning!” There was no response.
The next morning in my worship, I pled with God to explain it to me. He told me, “You used to love to spend time with me. Lately, you love your work more—your Prayer, Women’s, and Shepherdess ministries.” I said, “But I spend time with you every morning.” He responded, “Yes, but your heart is not here, you are thinking about your work and not about Me.” I was heartbroken and had to admit God was right.
Thankfully, with much prayer, God restored my “first love” experience with Him. What a wonderful, passionately-loving God! He so desires an intimate relationship with each one of us. “Then I will give them a heart to know Me, that I am the Lord; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God, for they shall return to Me with their whole heart” (Jer. 24:7).
Perhaps you’re wondering, “How do I have an intimate friendship with God?” For me, it was just sitting still with my Bible open and asking God to renew my “first love.” I would ask Him to show me what to read, what to pray, how to sit still and let Him love me. He did the rest.
Spending quality time with God every day has helped me so much with my struggles of being a pastor’s wife. It has also allowed God to work in many other areas of my life, including raising my children.
Maybe you have lost your “first love” experience with God. It is easy to do. I am praying for you that God will restore it quickly! And I know He will!
I hope you take time to read this issue of The Journal. I think you will enjoy the interview with Nancy Wilson. Nancy is such a humble and loving person. You might identify with her struggles in being a pastor’s wife. And “Family Meals” is right on. I know it made a difference with our sons. Plus, there are several other good articles! Enjoy!
* Not her real name