Bethany, a pleasant, easy-going mother of three, recently asked if we could meet for lunch. When I replied yes, she looked relieved. At the restaurant, she plopped down in a booth, scanned the menu, shook her head, and said she’d have whatever I was ordering. I noticed how frazzled and distracted she looked. “My hectic life is out of control and out of balance,” she suddenly announced. “I have no peace and my spiritual life seems so distant to me.”
Bethany explained how her husband’s out-of-town business trip had been extended for three weeks, leaving her alone to manage the children’s busy after-school activities, and the contractors who were remodeling their family room. “I feel like I just want to tune life out right now,” she admitted. “My mom has offered to help, but I don’t know how to get my spiritual walk back in balance, where I can slip away for prayer, devotions, and quiet time with the Lord. I don’t do well without His peace and comfort in my daily life.”
The concern Bethany shared about her spiritual life reveals her personality type – Peaceful Phlegmatic. Being a calm, quiet, low key personality, she loves to bask in God’s presence. He is a place of comfort and rest to her. She is often reminded of Matthew 11:28: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Bethany’s prayer life is of major importance to her. It allows her to turn over to God what she feels powerless to do herself. She loves to ponder scriptures as she spends time with Him in contemplative prayer. Part of her quiet time is spent listening to soft, worshipful music. Bethany doesn’t believe God assesses her on her undisciplined approach to devotions and Bible study. He prefers a relationship with her and is delighted whenever she comes to talk with Him. She can depend on Him to show up and listen to whatever is on her mind.
Bethany’s current situation upsets her because she lacks her needed time with the Lord. I offered to help by encouraging her to accompany me to a nearby Christian retreat. There she could spend an unhurried day privately reflecting and soaking in God’s presence. The beautiful grounds and serene atmosphere inspire a time for meditation, a deeper connection with God, and the opportunity to commune with Him at any time without interruption. We arrived early the following Saturday.
I also suggested she search out an accountability partner to help her establish a workable commitment to studying the Bible, allowing her to vary her schedule but still remain consistent in her time with the Lord. Bethany’s desire is to be immersed in scriptures to gain a more thorough understanding and revelation of God’s Word, no matter how long it takes.
It’s been two months since our visit to the spiritual retreat. When I spoke with Bethany recently, she was glowing. “I have my peace back, and my life is in balance again. I am experiencing a more intimate relationship with the Lord as I spend more time in His presence, resting in Him and receiving His comfort. It’s what sustains me each day. My Bible study time is increasing too, but I need the Holy Spirit’s help in this area,” she smiled.
I earnestly pray you all will experience God’s presence in a powerful way, and enjoy a sweet relationship with our Lord in the unique way He designed you to commune with Him.