By, Elise Daly Parker
Oasis Director of Development
For most of us, the summer is a time to chill-ax a bit. Even if we’re working full time, the office atmosphere is a little more casual and laid back. And many of us go off for a little vacation or enjoy a staycation for downtime…some much-needed rest and relaxation. Ahhhhh!
But guess what? God does not go on vacation. Not in the summer, not in the winter…and not just because we go on vacation. He’s always present. He neither slumbers, nor sleeps (Ps 121:4). And He never leaves or forsakes us (Deut 31:6). Never
I remember one summer that followed a particularly busy school year. At the time, I worked as State Coordinator for Moms In Prayer International – a ministry that gathers moms to pray for their children and schools. I had four kids and a part-time job as well. I had to juggle a lot, but Moms In Prayer reminded us to put family before ministry, and I was determined to spend some quality time with my quickly-growing-up children. Something had to give!
One of the things that really took a back seat was my “time alone with God.” This was something precious that I had finally established now that the kids were in school. First thing in the morning, I would sneak downstairs for a little devotional and prayer time. But in the summer, everyone hit the ground running first thing in the morning – there were hungry mouths to feed, car rides to several locations for each of my different kids, occasional day trips to the beach, visits with friends and family. Lots of fun, but the motion didn’t stop and quiet times with God were far and few between.
By the end of the summer, I was exhausted, ready for my kids to get back to the organized routine of school, and I missed God!
When the first day back-to-school arrived, I gathered my Bible and journal and tiptoed to a quiet corner in my backyard, where the Adirondack chairs awaited and the weeping cherry tree beckoned me forth.
I felt a little hesitant approaching God after what felt like a vacation away from Him. “Oh Lord, I’m sorry I’ve spent so little time with you.” I immediately felt His presence like a warm embrace. His Words spoke to my heart, “I’ve missed you, but I’ve been here all along.” Tears spilled from my eyes as those words sunk deep into my heart. He welcomed me.
I had been afraid God would be mad at me…that He might distance Himself from me and it would take some time to “feel” Him near. This wasn’t the case at all. The moment I turned toward Him, God was right there with me. Happy to have me return to Him from my summer vacation away from Him.
I don’t recommend taking a vacation away from God by any means. But no matter what gets in the way of our time with Him, we can take heart in His Word that promises nothing, not even summer vacation, can separate us from God’s love (Romans 8:38-39).
Her Life Speaks is all about Her testimony, Her life, and who God is in Her story. Here we write our stories in hopes of helping other women find their relationship with Jesus Christ.