Freedom in Legalism

Since becoming a mom, spending time in prayer and scripture study and solitude with God has been very infrequent. There is just too much to do and not enough time to do it. My to-do list is never ending, always expanding. And it is easy to rely on God’s grace and patience, knowing he still loves me regardless of how undisciplined I am.

As expected, this has had great effect on my personal spiritual life as well as ministry.

It is difficult to offer people what you don’t have.

And while God is gracious and understanding and I know that he has used me regardless of how much ‘quiet time’ I have or haven’t had, I reached a point this semester after experiencing some trials and much discouragement, that ‘my quiver was empty’ (to use a recent analogy I heard). There were no arrows left.

My love for my work had diminished almost completely (for my ministry and students, for my work in making a home, for teaching…everything). No matter how much I tried, I couldn’t fabricate a love that wasn’t there. I felt lacking in wisdom and discernment. I was tired. While I hate the idea of legalism and feeling like I “have to” have a quiet time, I was at the point where this lack of time with Jesus was having very obvious, very tangible results in my life and ministry and heart.

One of our supervisors, in going over different reflections from the semester and planning ahead for next semester, has given me the ‘freedom’ to be legalistic about this time with God. Him and Jon and I sat down with our schedules and mapped out times during the week that I am “required” to be in prayer and scripture study alone with God.

And I am so excited about this!

This is time that will be treated with as much importance as planning meetings and hanging out in dorms and fund development and diaper washing and lesson planning and grocery shopping.

There are many times that I am thankful to be in vocational ministry because it helps me with my own discipleship, and this is one of them! What a blessing it is to have permission, to have freedom, to have accountability from a boss, to be legalistic about spending time at Jesus’ feet.


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