When I was a child, we attended a church with a lot of ceremony and repetition. I memorized so many prayers and hymns that were used to communicate with God. Then I discovered Jesus was a personal Savior, and I could pray straight from my heart, in my own words… even singing praises I made up.
The longer I’ve walked with Jesus the more I’ve realized it’s actually easier than I thought. The whole relationship thing. I don’t have to be frantic or hard-pressed. Just set aside some time for the two of us. No timer or list to follow. He’s flexible. He knows I have a lot to do. I focus on enjoying Him, and He gives me what I so desperately need- simple quiet time together.
More and more, I can sense His presence during life’s chaos. He’s there. Measured and steady, available no matter what whirls about me. I’ve learned, with each dire circumstance: to breathe slowly and focus on being aware of His sovereignty. It takes effort! It takes practice.
Over time my reactions have changed. Those brief seconds before the critical look crosses my face or the hasty word pops out of my mouth… I’m reminded. Do you really want to go there? Before, I would just do it. Now I hesitate. It’s changed me and I think its changed the atmosphere around me.
I can still spout off at times… I’m passionate, maybe dramatic. But I now feel remorse when I speak too quickly or harshly. I notice the reactions. I ask for forgiveness. I don’t enjoy being angry anymore. Time with Jesus has changed me.
God is love and truth and mercy and calm. Jesus in me has made a difference. I am not the same as I was. Praise God! I hope I keep changing to be more like Him. And that it becomes easier than I ever thought.