So, something that God has been talking to me about for the last several weeks is creating margin for Him in my life. It actually started as me complaining to God about how I used to feel His presence all the time, and now I rarely do. And I felt like He said to me that it was because I used to make time for Him, and now I rarely do. Ouch.
You see, because I have always had a quiet time in the morning, I thought that was enough. Not that I didn’t want more of God throughout the day, because I’ve always wanted that. But I thought because I was starting the day right, all would be right. What I didn’t recognize was that any margin at all that I had in my life after the start of the day, was constantly getting filled up with something else…mostly, my phone. Let’s face it, we used to have margin when we would wait in a line somewhere, now we’re on our phone. At stoplights often, I glance at my phone. In church, because our church puts notes on You Version, I’m on my phone, so I will also get distracted if a text or notification of some sort comes through. You get the drift, we are constantly connected to society, therefore leaving less margin for God. To the degree that THIS happened this morning.
I was on my way to the bathroom, sorry I know that’s more than you want to know but it’s a significant part of this story, and I started to grab my phone and take it with me. As I was picking it up, I thought, “Why? Why am I taking this with me? Like if an underwriter calls me, I’m not gonna answer it while I’m in the bathroom. So, I’m taking it to scroll, because scrolling disguises itself as ‘downtime’ to me, but it’s not really downtime, it’s actually a ‘clutter my brain with mostly useless knowledge time’ which ends up causing me to have a very ‘cluttered brain’ feeling and as if I didn’t have downtime at all. Going to the restroom and doing NOTHING else would actually be downtime”. And because God has been talking to me about creating margin in my life for Him, I jokingly thought, “yeah, like God’s gonna talk to me while I’m on the toilet.” I had no more than got that thought out when God reminded me of a specific instance that He DID talk to me while I was on the toilet.
The year was 2009, and I was in the restroom when I very clearly heard God say, “I want you to write an article and submit it to the P31 Magazine.” I quickly replied back, “Well, Jesus, I don’t really consider myself to be a writer, so I know nothing about how to write a magazine article, nor would I have any idea who to submit it to. But if you show me how to do it, I will do it.”
A couple of days later, I had something really cool happen at work. God showed up in a really neat way, and I told that story on my blog. Lysa Terkeurst, of all people, somehow landed on my blog, read that article, and left this comment, “I’d highly encourage you to submit this to Glynnis for a P31 magazine article”.
So, let’s recap. I was sitting on the toilet, God asked me to write an article and submit it to the P31 Magazine. I told him I had no idea how to do that but if he’d help me, I’d do it. Then he gave me a story to tell and told me to write it on my blog. And then, you know, because He’s God, He talked to the President of Proverbs 31 Ministry and told her to read my blog. I’m kinda assuming that as she was reading it, this sort of Holy Spirit light bulb went off in her head and she thought, “hmmm, I should tell Melissa that this would make a good magazine article and let her know who to submit it to.” Seriously, what are the odds?!?! In the comment, you could possibly get the impression that Lysa and I were friends. We weren’t. She was at best, an acquaintance, if even that.
It grieves me to think of those kinds of fun times with God that I’m perhaps missing because I’m not allowing the margin in my life to hear Him speak. And I don’t think He’s asking for much, He took me from “not being a writer” to having an article published in a national ministry’s magazine all because my mind was still enough to hear him while I was going to the bathroom.
How about you? When you’re in line are you on your phone? When you sit down in the evening? When you’re in your car? In church? At the dinner table? I realize not everyone struggles with this, but for those of us who do, maybe those natural “still” spaces are the first places we need to reclaim.
"Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands you sinners; purify your hearts for your loyalty is divided between God and the world." James 4:8
Here's that original blog post that Lysa stumbled upon