Thursday, February 17, 2022

When Distractions Hide His Lovely Face


By: Donna Bucher

Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it.”

Genesis 28:16 ESV


Distracted living; it’s a thing. Surrounded by noise in every form, from the assault of music while you shop for groceries, endless phone notifications, emails, bills, and clutter, to requests for your time, money and resources.


Add in constant conversation in just about every corner of your day and before long you wonder if peace and quiet lives in a museum with phonographs and wired phones.


While navigating these common daily distractions brings annoyance, better management of notification settings, internet habits and how we spend our time offers relief. A little forethought aids better shopping experiences and a few housekeeping hacks keeps visual noise at bay.


But recently a deeper distraction problem confronted me. My longing for quality quiet time with God seemed more like a fantasy than a reality. Of course my days begin and end with time in God’s Word, prayer, verse memorization or review and occasional journaling.


Yet it all felt more like scraps of time stolen rather than the deep, intimacy for which I longed.

Do you ever feel this way too?


Lately feeling torn by responsibilities and distractions, viewing all alike as intrusions to my time with God; I saw my daily quiet times as failures. Building resentment and discontent hindered both my time with God and joy in my work and service.


Let’s Get Clear on Distractions

Happening upon the familiar verse in Genesis 28:16 in my daily reading, the second half of the verse spoke into my discontentment.

“Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it.”


God slowly began pointing out my rigidity in viewing responsibilities, people, and life in general, as “intrusions” to my time with him. Constantly looking for specific, consecrated times for spending with God left me missing him altogether.

My deep desire for spending more quality time with God awaited me. Only my refusal in acknowledging his presence in the everyday responsibilities, encounters with others and life’s events prevented me from what I sought.


What I viewed as distractions provided the very avenues through which God traveled with me throughout my day.


A Divided Heart

At the root of my struggle with distraction rested my divided heart; but not in a sinful sense. Matthew 26:38-46 describes Christ’s prayer on the night before his crucifixion in the Garden of Gethsemane.

His famous words, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will”, revealed a heart divided between the realization of his impending separation from his Father and obedience to his Father’s will.


The same night the disciples show a sinful divided heart, in their inability to remain awake. In verse 41 ofMatthew 26, Jesus reminds them, “Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”


My divided heart resulted more from the desire of avoiding separation from God due to responsibilities, relationships and life’s events, rather than a weak fleshly attempt at quiet times. Ultimately resulting in my resentment towards those things in my life as intruders.


Submitting, however, to God’s will in obedience to my responsibilities, relationships and life’s events did not mean separation from God. On the contrary, God’s presence remains with me in all of the moments of my days.

Inviting him into my moments, into my responsibilities and relationships not only enriches them, but builds intimacy with him.


Life’s good things are his blessings; and rather than separate me from him they are enjoyed with him.


Creating time for those special alone moments with God, positions me for true soul refreshment. But seeking those Selah moments throughout my day within my responsibilities, relationships, and unexpected events, offers me sweet sips from the well of his delights.

Looking for an easy way of creating a Selah moment in your day? Check out this article for a special technique for encountering God in the moments of your day!

Find more encouragement and FREE Resources at Serenity in Suffering!

Brand New FREE Downloadable Devotional for Your 28 day Transformative Journey through God's Love! Get Yours TODAY at Serenity in Suffering!


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