3 Ways to Stay Close to Jesus in the Day to Day
Have you ever been in a really great place with Jesus? Like, your mind and spirit are just consumed with Him. He's showing up and making the impossible happen. He's answering hard prayers. He feels so present, and you just want more and more of His presence. You feel like you're on this mountain top experience with Him where the rest of the world just falls to the side. The hope of Heaven and eternity and the promise of the cross and resurrection are the most real things - more real than anything in the natural world. You have a certain sure faith and strength that can only come from Him?
I was recently in that place. I hadn't felt that in years. It was such a sweet, beautiful time with Him, in my spirit and for my faith. I know Jesus can be a part of our day to day lives and I do my best to make Him a part of my everything. But sometimes it just goes to a whole new height. It seems to be for a specific time, serving a specific purpose. I'm not sure that can be maintained while we're here on earth. I started feeling myself coming down from this mountain top experience and was saddened by it. I didn't want to lose it. But I also knew it was for a time. It was to strengthen my faith in a way it needed to be strengthened for the next territory I would be walking in.
I began thinking on how I could keep this - at least a version of it - in my day to day life. When I'm having to do the things that just have to be done - laundry, taking care of Maverick, being a wife, going grocery shopping, unloading the dishwasher and so many other things. How do we do all that needs to be done while maintaining this closeness with him? I realized the answer was in my perspective, how I prioritize my daily activities and engaging the community around me.
Perspective. This "mountain top" experience I had with Jesus was while we were in Florida a couple of months ago. My husband and I were in a place where we desperately needed Jesus. I didn't have my house to take care of, I had more help with Maverick, and we all got covid so there was just a ton of down time - not going anywhere and not seeing anyone and a lot of rest. So Jesus was able to use this down time I had to encourage me and reveal Himself and His promises in such a special and real way. I was ready to get home but honestly, part of me was really soaking in this sweet, extra time with Jesus. I began wondering how I could keep this momentum with Him back home when my life revolves around taking care of a three year, a home, being a good wife and all of the other responsibilities I carry. I felt Jesus simply whisper "do it with joy". When you do anything for any of them, do it with joy in your heart and an attitude of you "get" to do this, not you "have" to. It's been surprisingly very helpful. When I feel I'm doing something begrudgingly, I simply take note of it, say a little prayer, remember these are the things He has entrusted me with for this time and let that change my perspective. "Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve." - Colossians 3:23-24
Prioritize: This one takes a lot of practice but it's something I'm really working at because I think it's one of the most important things we can learn to do. RJ is really good at this one and has to remind me to do it regularly. Instead of thinking of all the million things I need to do in a day - when the sink is full and the laundry is overflowing and my floors haven't been swept in a week and the bathroom is disgusting and we need groceries and I need to do some of my own work and I need to email the accountant and pay the bills but I also need to rest but I also need to play with Maverick and on and on and on goes the never ending list - I ask Jesus what he has for me today. What should be the priority? What should be the focus? It's been such a relief. Some days it is just rest and spend the day with your family. Some days it's do the laundry and take care of your home. Some days it's get out of the house and run errands. When I stop and ask Him and he shows me what this day is about, it takes all of the pressure off to do any of the other things. Sometimes it's hard to ignore that one thing I really wanted to get done, but if it's not what He has for me that day, I don't want to be doing it. If there's one thing Jesus has been teaching me lately - it's that He is in the details. All of the details. And He wants every part of our lives to be His, even the most mundane tasks, because He cares for us.
"...I do nothing on my own initiative, but I speak these things as the Father taught Me. And He who sent Me is with Me; He has not left Me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to Him." - John 8:28-29
People: During this high time with Jesus I was spending a lot of time in the gospels. When I felt normal life resuming it made me start thinking about the disciples and those who walked with Jesus. Can you imagine what it must've been like for them after the resurrections and Jesus' ascension to Heaven? They had just spent years doing day to day life with Jesus - seeing unbelievable things and hearing incredible truths. They had been doing life with God in an incredible and undeniable way. And then, He was gone. There had to be a feeling of loss there, of missing Him, of having to continue on in life with out him physically there. I began reading Acts to see how exactly they continued on after this great change in their life. I quickly stumbled on Acts 2:42. It says "They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles TEACHING and to FELLOWSHIP, to the BREAKING OF BREAD and to PRAYER." This description of the early church - and what church should be today - shows that they remained relational. Jesus ascended to Heaven, but they didn't go off in isolation. They taught others, they encouraged new believers to remain in teaching, they fellowshipped, they built communities and gave to their communities, they broke bread together - in communion and just eating together, they prayed together, they did life together. During this time I was in Florida, I had to call on friends for some practical, urgent help back home and they were quick to respond. I was sent Bible verses and words of encouragement. I have fallen into moments of weariness and discouragement since then and have been able to find strength and hope because the community around me always points me back to Jesus. We should all have people we can lean on and let lean on us, to offer a word of encouragement and receive a prayer, to have dinner with, talk with, share with, do life with. I literally just had a text from one of these sweet friends pop up on my phone saying they've been thinking of and praying for me this week. Find friends like this, be a friend like this, for it is pleasing to the Father when we love one another and it's good for our spirits to be encouraged in the faith.
"Iron sharpens iron, So one man sharpens another" - Provers 27:17
In the day to day, the business or mundane of your days, in doing the big things or the small things, we can do things to help keep our hearts close to Jesus. We can have a perspective of serving and gratitude. We can invite Jesus to be a part of our day to day and ask Him what He has for us. And we can surround ourselves with people who point us back to Jesus when we're in need of the encouragement or reminder of who He is in our lives.