Are you struggling to figure out how to get closer to God when life gets busy?
You’re not alone.
As a husband and daddy of three, I know life gets busy and stays busy. Maybe you’re like me, juggling multiple family members’ schedules, work, and the day-to-day tasks that keep a household running. Laundry, cooking, dishes, laundry again, more cooking, and even more dishes… (How many meals can a family eat in one day?) And, in the middle of it all, yet another task: the struggle to keep “first things first” and everything else properly in line with what’s most important.
WHY FINDING TIME TO GET CLOSER TO GOD IS IMPORTANT
“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” — James 4:8
Recently, somewhere between swapping out the day’s third load of laundry and preparing an afternoon snack for our little ones, I had a flashback to when my former boss asked me if I had a moment to chat. I remember instantly thinking, No! I definitely do not have a moment to chat! I had so much on my plate that week, and the timing couldn’t have been worse. He was the boss, however, and my time belonged to him. That’s why, regardless of whatever I was thinking, I smiled and said, “Of course!”
So, I went. From the moment I walked into my boss’s office, I began fidgeting and kept glancing at the clock on the wall. It wasn’t too long into the meeting that I realized I was barely listening to whatever he was saying. All I was thinking about was the tasks and deadlines I left in my office. God somehow gave me a moment of clarity, and I became sadly aware that I was not honoring the person who invited me to this time and conversation.
My boss wanted to cast a vision for our department, and all I envisioned was the pile of work I wasn’t getting done! He wanted to check in to see how things were going, and I was checking out from being stressed out.
As I took the time to slow down, take a few deep breaths, and carefully listen to what my boss was saying, I realized he was giving me a gift. He offered my department (and me) valuable insight and course correction for the mountain of work I anxiously wanted to return to. His perspective, insight, and directives weren’t increasing my workload; they were actually making my work easier, lighter, and more efficient.
Almost instantly, that “chat” with my boss changed my…
With clear instruction, priority, and confidence being instilled “straight from the top,” I returned to my department to joyfully accomplish the marching orders that previously squeezed and overwhelmed me. What a difference a conversation makes!
That’s why it’s important for us as believers to find time to get closer to God and check in with Him. There’s so much to gain!
IS GOD REACHING OUT TO CHAT?
Back to the daily grind of work, schedules, laundry, and dishes… (Did I mention how many dishes we wash in a day?)
While I know that daily-grind days are included in the Psalm writer’s proclamation, “This is the day the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 118:24), admittedly, too many days are filled with shuffling and stressing instead of rejoicing and gladness. Far too often, I wonder, How did I get this far into my day without acknowledging the very One who created this day and invited me to “chat”?
Does this sound familiar?
In the midst of your busy life, can you hear the voice of God saying, “Do you have a moment to chat?” And if so, are you responding by using the opportunity to get closer to God?
PRACTICAL TIPS TO GET CLOSER TO GOD WHEN LIFE GETS BUSY
Here are some practical tips and insights that can help you get closer to God even when life gets busy…
Remember—No Bible, No Breakfast
As I was praying for wisdom to know how to best safeguard my time with the Lord amid all the attention-grabbers and time-consumers of life, I came across a quote from Leland Wang that’s become a game-changer for me: “No Bible, no breakfast.”
I needed this. Leland’s quote was a helpful reminder to daily “keep the main thing the main thing” and to keep “first things first.” Beginning the day in conversation with God and engaging Him in His Word is re-prioritizing what’s most important and necessary amid days packed with endless tasks, hectic schedules, and various obligations.
Beginning my day with the God of all creation who invites me to meet with Him and speak with Him—early and often throughout the day—is an amazing gift. The writer of James was right! “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you” (James 4:8).
Maybe you need a reminder to keep close to God when life gets hectic. Maybe you need a “no Bible, no breakfast” model of your own. Use whatever daily go-to works for you.
- Maybe it’s not breakfast but a cell phone that tends to take priority over time spent with God.
- Perhaps you need a “No Bible, no cell phone” challenge.
- Or “no Bible, no social media” or “no Bible, no TV” or “no Bible, no dessert.”
You get the idea. Whatever you come up with is between you and God. Consider talking to God right now and asking Him to help you fill in the blank: No Bible, no _____________.
Whatever you come up with, let it become a helpful tool that elevates God to your first and highest daily priority. Whatever you do, don’t make it some rule or law—that will only add a burden to your already weighty and hectic life. God wants just the opposite for you!
Seek God’s Wisdom
Maybe what was working before in making time with God as your highest priority isn’t working this season. If so, seek out God’s wisdom. As James tells us, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him” (James 1:5, emphasis added). God knows you better than you know yourself, and He’ll lead you in the right direction as you seek Him.
- Ask God to help you to see what is taking priority over your time with Him.
- Ask Him for the wisdom to know what guardrails or reminders you can employ to help you keep “first things first.”
Sometimes changing everything all at once deters us from reaching our goal. Ask God to help set reasonable steps that will work for you. If “no time” with God is the norm, consider 10 minutes each day, then perhaps 15 minutes after a season, then 20, etc. Let God set the agenda and challenge.
Don’t forget that God grows and matures people over time. Be patient with yourself—God is certainly patient with you! And remember, God isn’t interested in how much time you spend with Him but that your heart is turned toward Him and that you desire to be with Him. The how and how much of spending time with God will take care of itself as you “draw near” to Him.
Trust God’s Economy
As you begin to put first things first, other things will begin to fall in line. You may feel that time spent with God is time taken from being more productive with other things in your life. In God’s economy, time with Him actually makes your life more productive, more efficient, more focused, and more satisfying. Time with God has a way of setting priorities, discerning needed steps, and determining what’s worth doing at all. Know that time with God—before, during, and after important events and mundane tasks alike—is never time wasted.
Have “Chats” Throughout the Day
Our life “with” God is an ongoing, throughout-the-day relationship. Yes, reminders, guardrails, and mechanisms from time to time that help us to begin our day with God are important. How we order and prioritize our day is often reflected in how we start our day. But the start of our day is just that, a start. Let your great day beginnings lead to pauses throughout your day to check in with God who has given you His open-door invitation and is waiting!
May your first-of-the-day chats and engagements with God become so natural that your “morning meet” never ends, and you continue to get closer to God!