|Image credit: armyofcompassion.com|
I recently found myself in the early stages of one of the dry seasons. I had been doing so much travel for work (which I love, by the way) that I found myself giving up my time with God in the mornings so I could catch a couple of hours of extra sleep. The days were long and intense that by the time I got back to my hotel, all I wanted was a meal and a coffee and a non-fiction novel to zone out (preferably Christian romance but that's just me.) I started to feel restlessness stirring but in my tired state, I didn't connect the dots enough to know that I needed some time with God to refresh. It was mid trip in Orlando that I was introduced to an exercise during my work training that not only helped me reconnect, but it bought back my awe and wonder.
One morning we were given a sheet of paper that had the letter of each alphabet listed with three lines under it and we were asked to list down all the characteristics of God against the alphabetical letter. Who is God? How do we define His character? His heart? We were told we had three minutes and we had to write the characteristics of God and who He was to us as quickly as possible. Once we had written them down, we all stood for combined worship and during worship we were asked to call out the names and characteristics in alphabetical order. It was slow to start, but then everyone got into it:
The list went on and on. As we stood there, about 25 of us in total, reading out the characteristics of God as we saw and felt them, tears streamed down my face. As I listened to people around me sharing how they saw God, and as I called out some of my own words, my heart beat wildly in my chest because I reminded of who He is. The words spoken out were a glimpse of the One who made me and loves me. I was reminded that He is everything and that He is more than enough, something I had unfortunately lost sight of for a little while because I had been so focused on myself. As we stood and fixed our eyes on the Cross, I was reminded that it is about Him and only Him. It reminded me that He is my beloved. My advocate. My freedom.
We are often encouraged to remember the good things that God has done, but how often do we stop and remember who God actually is? How often do we stop and just sit in awe and wonder at who He is, not what He has done? It reminded me of all the things that He was and how much He loved me how much He did, and continues to do for me. It reminded me that the heart of God is one that leans towards me and the character of God is one of such integrity and righteousness and faithfulness that He couldn't possibly let me down, no matter how much the enemy tried to convince me otherwise. Most importantly it reminded me to shift my focus back to where is should be; on Jesus.
Since that day, my worship and my time with God has shifted and I am focusing more on Him. On the days when I am off to a slow start, I recite some of those words and remind myself that He who was Awesome and Faithful and Loving on that January morning in Orlando is still just as faithful an d awesome and loving. On the days when my heart is a little heavy and my mind is roaming, I make myself go back to the heart of worship and reflect on the awesomeness and wonder of God. So if you are struggling to get going today, can I encourage you to spend some time writing down all the characteristics of God and reading them out aloud to yourself, because we all need a little reminder sometimes.
Leila (Lays) Halawe is a Sydney based coffee loving nonfiction writer and blogger. She has published a short devotional, Love By Devotion, and shares her views on life and faith via her blog page Looking In. You can connect with her via Facebook at Leila Halawe Author and via Twitter at Leila Halawe.