Sitting and Receiving

How is your writing going?

I usually feel uncomfortable answering that question. However, I’ve discovered the answer is often linked to an even more intimidating question. How is your quiet time going?

Thankfully, I have people in my life who care enough to ask me that question. I must admit, there have been seasons when my quiet time wasn’t going well at all. There have even been periods of time when I yielded to the temptation to skip my time with the Lord all together.

At one point last year, after about a month of whispering arrow prayers to God as I rushed from one task to the next, I broke down in tears. I missed my connection with my Lord. I was exhausted and weary. I knew I desperately needed unstructured time with Him. I finally put my to-do list aside, opened my Bible, and just started reading. I longed to connect with God and sense His presence. I was hungry for His Word and thirsty for His Spirit. As I read in John chapter six, I came across the story of Jesus feeding the five thousand and noticed something unique about John’s description of the event.

Crowds of people were gathered, and they needed to eat. When one of Jesus’ disciples identified a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, Jesus said,

“Have the people sit down.” There was plenty of grass in that place and the men sat down (about five thousand men were there). Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish (John 6:10-11 NIV).

Our Lord told the people to sit down, and about five thousand men sat on that grassy mountainside, anxious to receive what Jesus had for them. He distributed to those who were seated. As I read and re-read the words, “to those who were seated,” it occurred to me that some of the people on that mountainside chose not to sit down. If you are familiar with the account of that amazing event, you know those five loaves of bread and two fish miraculously fed everyone who was seated, with twelve baskets of leftovers to spare.

As I questioned why some of the people would choose not to sit down and receive the sustenance Jesus was offering them, God’s tender conviction washed over me.  I realized I had been just like the people who chose to remain standing. I had been so busy writing and checking off tasks from my to-do list, I hadn’t taken time to sit and receive the spiritual food Jesus had to sustain me and strengthen me and inspire me.

Are you taking time to sit and receive the sustenance Jesus has for you? I can relate to a hectic schedule and deadlines that make setting aside time with our Lord seem difficult. However, if your writing isn’t going well, perhaps you need to have a seat on a grassy mountainside with your Lord. Whether you need inspiration or direction, or simply a few words of encouragement, Jesus has more than enough to sustain you with baskets full to spare. Sometimes, we have to sit in order to receive.

So, my fellow writing friends, how is your quiet time going?

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39 thoughts on “Sitting and Receiving

  1. Thank you Mindy, It is good to be reminded to have time out for spiritual time. I try to take mine on my walk, but lately even walk time has been put aside. Too many other tasks are putting up their hands before my writing time and spiritual time. I’ll have a talk with Him on Sunday about shifting priorities

    • Thanks for sharing, Marie. We all have to take our to-do lists befoe Him from time to time and shift a few priorities. I pray God clearly guides you to just the right balance so your quiet times (walking or sitting) will be times of blessed refreshment.

  2. Thank you for the reminder. It is so easy to excuse the distractions for our lack of devotion. We will always have distractions. Like Martha of the new testament we have things that need done everyday. But we need to take the example of her sister Mary and put the best things first.

    • Yes, the Mary in me craves time in His presence. The Martha in me strives for productivity. May we all do better at keeping the “best” our priority. Thanks for your comment, Sharon.

  3. I like the idea of sitting down/slowing down to receive from God. We need to position ourselves for the blessing. Show we’re truly expecting it. When my kids sit down to talk with me, they end up receiving more from me than when they fly by like the wind… I’m glad I took time to sit down and read your insightful post, Mindy. Thanks for the great reminder!

    • Thanks for your kind words, Cheryl. You are so right, our kids get more from us when they linger and chat . . . and I am blessed by their desire to do so. I can’t help but believe we bring a smile to God’s fatherly face when we choose to sit and receive.

  4. Thank you so much for this blog! I recently posted, Uncle! (for now) http://tinyurl.com/c4dg5lv
    because I was feeling out of touch. Writing is important to me, but not as important as my relationship with my Heavenly Father. The wit and prose will come back … I sense it … but first things first. Bless you for offering validation to my plight.

    • Thanks for your comment, Robin. I pray God indeed restores your wit and prose as you sit at His feet and receive what He alone can give.

  5. Years ago I realized the only quiet time I would get to pray and read scripture was in the morning, so I started getting up a half hour earlier. It has made all the difference in my life.

    • That’s been my experience too. I started setting two alarms, 2 minutes apart, so even when I hit snooze, I get annoed enough by the constant alarms, I go ahead and just get up. 🙂

  6. Wow, Mindy. What a fabulous post. I needed this reminder as I get ready to juggle a very busy summer season at the large river resort I manage, while trying to finish my first book by contract deadline.

    For some time, the verse, “Seek first the kingdom,” has rung in my ears. Your post today is a great reminder to sit as I seek. Thank you for a terrific insight. Blessings as you sit and soak in Christ.

    • What a sweet comment, Anita. Thanks. I pray God pours out more than enough each time you choose to sit in His holy presence. And may you find more than enough energy and inspiration to finish that book ahead of your deadline.

  7. You are absolutely right. My quiet time is my life’s blood, the one thing I absolutely always have time for. I am so grateful for God’s faithfulness to bend down to meet me. Nothing else grows if those seeds are not planted.

  8. Some weeks ago when I had pneumonia, I decided that no matter what time I got up, the first hour or two belongs to the Lord. It’s made a tremendous difference in my workday as I prioritize what I need to do. I feel His presence as He pours out His peace. Thanks for the reminder!

    • Well that is certainly good brought out of a difficult situation, Barbara. I’m glad you are feeling better and seeing fruit from your time in His presence. He is so faithful!

  9. One way I “sit down” is to leave Outlook closed when I come to my desk for my quiet time. If I open it, there sits the Inbox, beckoning me to heed its call, rather than to listen to the Savior. The siren call of the Inbox must be avoided, if I am to grab that time with the Lord first thing in the morning. If I miss a few days, I feel unattached, even though I know theologically that I am not. Without pausing to listen to him and to heed his voice, rather than the other pressing voices, I am a mess.

    • Great point, Melinda! Ugh, my inbox can get me so off track. That’s why I have to have my quiet time before I ever get to my desk. Great tip!

  10. I was working on a blog post about this yesterday–except I used the story of Martha and Mary–guess which one I was? Is there any one else that we are close to that we choose to not give our full attention at some point in the day? If so, we don’t remain close to them for long. And this is the most important relationship.

    • Indeed, Kathie. We can’t ignore other relationships, why do we think we can get away with ignoring our priority relationship? If Jesus spent focused time in prayer, we certainly need it as well. Thanks for your comment!

  11. Mindy, this is a timely post, indeed! I can tell when I have neglected my quiet time or have hurried through it as it shows up in my writing. I am quite thankful, however, that God is patient. Youd think I’d learn after the first few hundred times…! Thank you for being transparent with us – it was an encouragement to me.

    • Thank you for your encouragement and transparency as well, Amanda.

  12. That was an awesome insight. Thank you for sharing. I needed to hear that this week.

    • Thanks, Sandy! I pray you spend a lot of time sitting and receiving this week.

  13. Thanks for such a clear directive, Mindy, to sit down and receive. I, too, am guilty of not taking enough time to sit with God.

  14. Thanks for the reminder, Mindy! Speaking of seeking God’s kingdom first, I love The Message version of Matthew 6:33: “Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.”

  15. Pingback: An Effective Quiet Time With God | Social Behavioral Patterns–How to Understand Culture and Behaviors

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