Near to the Heart of God

Busy. That’s me this year, this month, and especially this week. I knew it was coming and I thought I was prepared for it, but, as it always does, the busyness conquered me again. Or so it seemed.

For the past month, my husband and I have been traveling for various reasons, sometimes together, sometimes alone. Both of our sweet boys are involved in piano lessons, mission friends and RAs, soccer practice, and schoolwork (like so many of your children, I know!). I knew that these past two weeks were going to be extremely busy. I had written it down on the calendar. I had made all of the preparations in my ever-busy mind that I thought were necessary for my family to keep running through the race of what we know as our life.

I even prayed about it. God, I’m going to have such a busy week. Please help me to…what? What did I want Him to help me do? Just get through it? Make a difference? What did I want to do? This is a hole I always seem to fall in when I get “busy”. I plan. I prepare. I even pray. And then the “busy” happens and my plans and preparations fall apart, and then by the end of the week I usually fall apart and my husband and kids skirt around me like I’m a balloon that they are afraid to pop! I’m not worrying about making a difference or even getting through the week anymore. I just want to sit down for a minute!

I have the best of intentions with my plans. But my plans are human plans and they easily fail.

When the “busy” happens, the first plan to go is the housework plan. I’m afraid that I’m not the best housekeeper in the first place and I quickly put other things ahead of cleaning the house. I saw this on Facebook today:


When I saw it, I thought “Who actually gets all the laundry done ever?” Mine has never been done even for 12 seconds! It seems to grow while I sleep…or maybe while I’m running around from one busy activity to another!

The next thing to go is the diet plan. Every Sunday I say that I’m going to start eating right on Monday, and well…you know the drill. I get busy. I stay after school to work on lesson plans, then rush the boys to piano lessons, then run home to change clothes for the soccer games. Suddenly, Taco Bell looks like manna from heaven and before I know it I’ve had all my weight watcher points for the week in one meal! How does this keep happening?

It’s all downhill after that. I allow the “busy” to take over. I let in the noise of life. And it tries to drown out my Savior’s still, small voice. When I don’t hear Him, I began to hear something else. It’s the voice of the enemy, who tells me that I am not a good teacher because I don’t spend enough time planning the most effective lessons. Or that I’m not being a good friend because I’m not listening to my sweet coworkers when they have a problem to talk about. The enemy suggests that I’m not a good wife and mommy because I’m not spending enough quality time with my boys and husband–we’re just running in the same direction but we’re  not really running together. The enemy laughs at me and says that I couldn’t possibly write songs that could make a difference in someone’s life…

Does this happen to you, friends?

When this happens, we have a choice. We can take these snippy little whispers from the enemy and dwell on them until we believe them. We can let them bring us down until our attitudes and actions make us unbearable to be around. Believe me, I’ve been there. Or…we can focus on our Savior’s still, small voice. It really is bigger than all of the noise of our busy lives. He is bigger than the “busy”. He is bigger than our emotions, our tiredness, our overwhelming circumstances. He is bigger than the enemy. Always. And He is with us all the time. Whether we are driving from one activity to another, sitting on the sidelines with the rest of the busy parents, working at our jobs, or doing the laundry, He is there.

I have learned that when I am feeling overwhelmed, I can quietly talk to Him. God, I’m so tired. Lord, I’m so frustrated with my never-ending list. Am I making a dent in it? Father, where did those dirty clothes come from? Do they even belong to my family?!? He understands me. He cheers me on. He helps me. He has called me to be His. He calls me Chosen, Daughter, Friend, Beloved, and Righteous.  He says I am who He says I am!

So now my prayer is not one of desperation or confusion. It’s one of quiet confidence in a Savior who loves me and helps me. God I’m going to have such a busy week. Let me hear You through the noise. Let me make time to sit with You before the busy seeps in. You can take over instead of the busyness.

One hymn that’s been on my mind lately is “Near to the Heart of God”. This song was written by Cleland B. McAfee after the death of his two young nieces in 1901. I’ve always loved singing this hymn at church, and this past week I stayed up late and came up with a new melody for the beautiful lyrics.  The first verse and refrain are some of my favorite words. There is a place of quiet rest, near to the heart of God. A place where sin cannot molest, near to the heart of God. O Jesus, blest Redeemer; sent from the heart of God. Hold us who wait before Thee near to the heart of God.

I’m so glad for a God who loves me so much that He’d send the Son of His heart to redeem me so that I could be near His heart also. When the busyness threatens to take over, I’m so glad that I can simply draw near to the heart of my God.

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1 Response to Near to the Heart of God

  1. Connie Sullivan says:

    Words so true. I have often wondered why when I really need Him the most it seems that time slips away. Praise and singing and scripture and being positive and prayer and quite and staying near to God’s heart are for sure the best weapons! Love you – you sure know how to capture a woman’s heart!

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