Are you brave enough to admit the truth?
Like the Bethlehem inn that was too full to receive Jesus, your schedule is often too full to allow Him space. Ouch. The truth hurts.
Stop. No feelings of guilt!
There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
There is, however, a Savior who desperately wants to be with you.
I expect you want to enjoy His presence on a regular basis. You hear His whispers of love and grace inviting you to come close. You desire that He have priority in your heart. But your world clamors for your attention. Appointments, responsibilities, activities, tasks, interruptions. Your day seems gone before it begins.
How can you create space for Jesus?
Consider implementing one of the following suggestions. No need to perform and accomplish all of them. Creating space for Jesus is more about awareness than performance. Make one simple choice to allow His presence into whatever your schedule may hold.
Seek Him first
The best way to create space for Jesus in your schedule is to make it your priority. First thing, talk with Him. I’m not talking about an hour-long time of prayer and Bible study. Jesus wants relationship with you, and relationship is built by conversation. Greet your day with “Good morning, Jesus.” Grab a quick verse to hear His voice. Confess that you will be distracted today. Ask Him to draw you close to Himself.
If your house is like mine, this might be your only opportunity for quiet space to sit at Jesus’ feet uninterrupted (or at least partially uninterrupted). The Psalmist declared “we bring a sacrifice of praise”. Sometimes, a sacrifice of sleep offers the space to focus on being with Jesus.
But some days…You just need the sleep. When your babies are little, your children are sick, your body is weary, waking early may actually hinder you from allowing Jesus into your day. So sleep, and don’t feel guilty. Jesus will still be there when you wake up.
Say no to a good activity
You have a plethora of options for your calendar this month and your schedule today. You hear the advice to say no. Perhaps you should listen. Realize that every “no” paves the way for a “yes”. As you relinquish an opportunity, consider how that space in your time can be filled with Jesus.
Say yes to an invitation
But saying no is not a magic cure, and you certainly should not refuse every opportunity. Saying yes creates space for Jesus if you will talk with Him about the decision. Wait to respond with a yes or no until after you have asked for His guidance, and either answer becomes the path for allowing Him into your day.
Schedule time to breathe
Yes, write it in your calendar! Mark off a day to stay home, go to the park, read a book, play with your children. Plan five minutes to cease striving to complete your list of tasks. Take a moment to look in your child’s eyes. Linger a moment in the quiet (even if you must create quiet in your mind in the midst of noise in your ears). Take a deep breath and speak to Jesus.
Pause for prayer stops
Jesus doesn’t need a thirty minute time slot allotted in today’s plan. He wants to enter every moment as you go through the day. But my experience has revealed my need to train myself to be aware. I need intentional times, frequently, to cultivate a heart that seeks Jesus. So set a timer for regular moments: 9:00, 12:00, 3:00, 6:00. Whisper a prayer of thanks for something, someone right in front of me. Whisper a plea for help for the current circumstance.
Engage in slow
Take a walk. Sip a hot drink. Gaze at the lights. Read (a few lines of) a book. Be amazed by Creation. Play a game. Stare at the fire. Listen to laughter. Breathe when you hear fighting. Think before responding. Whisper a prayer of thanks that Jesus is near.
Just sit still
Just stop. The frenzy of our world distracts us from realizing Jesus is right here, right now. You do not have to stop everything to be aware of His presence, but sometimes you do need to stop for a moment. This might be the hardest suggestion to implement in your reality. Yet, this simple act could transform your perspective of creating space for Jesus. You just might realize your need is not to allow Him into your schedule but to grow in your awareness that He is already with you.
Give yourself grace
Jesus is not asking for your performance. He just wants to be with you. Creating space for Him in your schedule is not a matter of creating the perfect schedule. It is a matter of enjoying His presence throughout your day.
Some of these suggestions may seem contradictory. Well, they are. Only the Holy Spirit knows what you need. Ask Him. Choose one. Enjoy His presence.
Choose one way to enjoy Jesus’ presence today, whatever your schedule may hold.
Create space for Jesus by a simple choice.