I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope.
Most mornings I wake up, brush my teeth, wash my face, and head upstairs to check the weather. Here in Ohio, the weather is what I would like to call, unpredictable. Currently, as I write I have long sleeve and short sleeve shirts occupying two to three drawers, while my pants and shorts occupy another. The other day, my husband mentioned that I am starting to take over most of the dresser, being that I once only occupied the entire right side, but somehow my clothes have overflowed over to the top left drawer. I am not exactly sure when or how that happened, but I explained to him that I never know what season I am preparing for each morning so I can’t put anything away just yet.
Nonetheless, after getting dressed, I walk upstairs to see if I will be met with Summer or Winter in June, and when I am greeted with the fresh sound of birds chirping, I take a seat outside to begin my morning time with God.
I’ve adapted a new saying, that time spent with God is time I will never regret, and that has proven to be true. Although I enjoy reading and studying the word, a large part of that time is spent sitting in His presence as I write what I sense He is saying. This time is also spent writing down prayers that are on my heart. The interesting thing is that as I sit, I am constantly fighting off the urge to rush out of the moment, grab my phone and get my day started. The thoughts of the emails I need to send and text messages I need to respond to are overwhelmingly loud. Almost as if those things can’t wait but God can. It’s so easy to treat the precious morning or evening moments with God as a task to check off my to-do list and for a while, that’s what it was.
But one day, as I was about to step out from that moment and into the rush of my day, I felt God say, “Rachel I need you to learn to linger. For us to sit together in silence but with one another. Even if I never say a word, time with me is the most valuable part of your day.”
Linger, but why? How?
Google tells us that the word Linger means,
“Stay in a place longer than necessary because of a reluctance to leave. Spend a long time over. Be slow to disappear”
For many of us, myself included, this is a hard discipline to learn. Our natural tendency is to read the bible or a devotional, write in our journal, say a quick prayer and move on with our day. It also doesn’t help that our time with God is often met with distractions like the ding of the cell phone, our child waking up earlier than normal, or an urgent email from yesterday evening that has to be addressed. Our bodies have been trained to be on alert at all times, so it feels as if lingering is not a suitable way to respond to life.
There is also a natural resistance to this discipline. It’s kind of like when I tell my 6-year-old to sit down, especially when we are outside. That is so unnatural for my energetic, outgoing, kid who thinks he has the speed of spiderman and the moves of John Cena. This is the same kid who received a new pair of boots from his grandmother and suddenly believed he became the fastest running 6-year-old the world has ever known. I could use a pair of those myself.
But if I tell him to sit down because he is getting too worked up, it is as if gravity is pulling on him while the wind is blowing him every which way causing him to move rather than be still. His inability to linger in a moment is facilitated by his ever-flowing energy and our inability is often facilitated by our never-ending to-do-list.
Here is what I want you to remember, things don’t stick when we don’t stay.
When we rush out of our time with God, we miss the opportunity to be carriers of some of the most precious revelations he wants to give us for the world. Nor do we give enough time for the seeds to take root that he set on the soil of our heart. Transformation comes when we linger before we leave.
Here is my encouragement to you. When you find yourself running behind and feeling that your time with God may be cut short, read a couple of verses then sit and linger with him for at least two minutes longer. It will still remain the best part of your day. So today, I want you to focus on lingering so that your time with God is irreplaceable.
Rachel G. Scott
Rachel is a wife and a mother, writer, speaker, and entrepreneur. She has been featured nationally and internationally on television, podcast, radio, devotionals, and blogs. As the Founder of the I Can’t Come Down movement, an organization dedicated to helping women walk in their purpose and assignment with focus, she is a former Huffington post contributor and current Youversion and Moody Radio Cleveland Partner. She is also part of The Well Communicators a faith-based speaking team.
Rachel is deeply devoted to serving God, loving and honoring her husband and raising her children in a Godly home where they experience authenticity and learn to embrace their imperfections.