I just got back from a wonderful vacation, and during one of my quiet times, Luke 8:45-46 came alive to me in a new way. I was thinking back to when I lost my church family, my therapist, my best friend, my volunteer position, even my dog died, all within a few weeks. There was nothing to do but press into Jesus and touch the hem of His garment. I was completely alone, and for someone with a history of abandonment issues, this felt like a life or death (mostly death) situation. I had to make a choice. I had to say, “Lord, I need you to fix this, but even if You don’t, I still choose You.” And to make a long story short, He didn’t “fix” it the way that I thought He needed to do. He completely changed my life, brought me into a new season with a spacious new place where I have grown in ways that were not possible in the old season of my life. I had been on vacation during that last season, and in my mind I thought I could never have another vacation as great as the one that brought me so much healing because it was such a divinely aligned time with friendships that I treasured. That was a lie from the enemy. I’m learning that I do not have to “replace” good memories in order to make new ones. I can still honor and treasure past memories while God continues to rewrite my story and move me forward to new adventures. I’m learning that participating in new experiences does not have to take the place of the old, but instead, they have a place of their own, neatly tucked into this season of life.
In every season, we have certain needs that never change. One of those is attention. We all need to be paid attention to by someone who loves us. As I was reading in Luke, I had a new revelation that anytime I feel alone, I can change it immediately. Jesus wasn’t focused on the woman who touched Him when He was walking through the crowd of people. She was focused on Him! As soon as she focused on Him and pressed in to touch Him, she had His attention. When we feel lonely, or just alone in doing something hard in life, we have that same opportunity to have His undivided attention. We can choose to change how we feel by being purposeful to press into the Lord. We can do that by praying, putting on worship music, or reading our Bible. For me personally, nothing brings me into the Lord’s presence better than praying the scriptures and making them personal by putting my name in them.
Luke 8:45-46 New International Version (NIV)
45 “Who touched me?” Jesus asked.
When they all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the people are crowding and pressing against you.”
46 But Jesus said, “Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me.”
I was challenged to take control of my day by being purposeful to keep my focus on the Word of God. When I take the time to read and apply scripture, I’m putting a demand on my focus to stay where it needs to be, and I’m closing the doors to the enemy’s lies that I am all alone. If we will only touch the hem of His garment, we will be made whole. This summer I’ve been trying to tithe 10% of my time each day. This is a new concept for me, and I’ve divided it up so that I try to give him an hour in the morning, half an hour in the afternoon, and an hour at night. It is radically changing my life! I’m not rigid about it, and I don’t always get it right. But I’m pressing into the concept of giving Him 10% of my day and watching to see what amazing things He does with the other 90%. I want to be open to allowing Holy Spirit to guide the time and do whatever He wants to do, so I don’t have a set plan. Sometimes, I just sit quietly and say, “I’m here to listen to You, Lord.” Even then, I don’t always “hear” from Him in noticeable ways. Sometimes, I just walk away knowing that my spirit has been in communion with His because there is a renewed peace and calm, a fresh expectation and excitement that I can’t believe I get to live this life. It’s exciting to be gaining new little nuggets of insight, like how to command my day to be focused on Him by pressing into Him and gaining His immediate attention. He loves us extravagantly! Press into Him and give Him the opportunity to give you His undivided attention. He is worthy!!
We can’t press into Jesus without being noticed. If we are feeling needy or wanting attention we only need to call His name and He will always notice us!