I’ve taken some time off from blogging. I wish I could say I used the opportunity to rest and renew spiritually. Fact is, I’ve been busy with a lot of other things and have found little time to pray. Does that ever happen to you?
In our home we have family devotions every evening, but I also try to set aside alone time for morning and evening prayer. Unfortunately my prayer time has been a little hit and miss lately, even though I feel the need to get away, unplug, and focus on the inward journey. One helpful thing I did this week was made plans to go on a spiritual retreat—48 hours alone with myself and with God, no program, no distractions. It’s not something I’ve done very often, but again it’s something I feel the need to do.
At church this morning I filled in for our regular Sunday School teacher, who is away at a funeral. The lesson was on Isaiah 38 where the prophet tells an ailing King Hezekiah, “Set thine house in order: for thou shalt die, and not live” (v. 1). That’s all the motivation Hezekiah needs to make his spiritual life a top priority. Hezekiah turns his face to the wall and prays, weeping bitter tears (vv. 2-3). God spares Hezekiah and promises him fifteen more years of life. God’s judgment is always contingent upon his mercy. Remember Jonah’s prophecy that Nineveh would be destroyed? God reserves the right to relent.
It shouldn’t take a terminal illness or a prediction of judgment to motivate us to take our spiritual lives seriously. I know that intellectually, but I’m glad for the gentle reminder today.