In May, a dear friend gave me the book, Jesus Calling, and it has given my mornings with Jesus a complete makeover. It has reinvigorated my relationship with God. Just reading the introduction inspired me! I found the way the author approached writing the book to be so refreshing. Author Sarah Young writes, “I began to wonder if I could change my prayer times from monologue to dialogue. I had been writing in prayer journals for years, but this was one-way communication: I did all the talking. Increasingly, I wanted to hear what God might want to communicate to me on a given day. I decided to ‘listen’ with pen in hand, writing down whatever I ‘heard’ in my mind.” That idea of a dialogue versus monologue really resonated with me. I have to admit, most of my time with Jesus is a monologue. When I’m praying, it’s a monologue. When I’m nervous and need God’s help, it’s a monologue. But the idea of a dialogue with Jesus is difficult. How do we engage in a dialogue with someone we can’t see or touch or hear? In the book, the author suggests writing out a conversation with God. So I decided to give it a try.
When I started reading Jesus Calling, I wasn’t in a particularly dark season, but I knew my morning Jesus routine needed a pick me up. I’ve tried waking up and going straight for my Bible, reading chapter by chapter and book by book, but personally I find the Bible overwhelming to read that way. I forget what I read the day before and I don’t always understand how all of it fits together. While it is crucial to read and understand the Bible as a whole, I’m finding that reading the Bible as a few small inspired verses at a time is helping me get to know God on a more personal level. Jesus Calling is written as if Jesus was talking directly to you. There is a short devotional followed by a few short scriptures. Reading Jesus Calling has forced me to open my Bible and listen to God. And journaling after my reading has deepened my relationship with God and helped me to see Him as a friend and constant companion. I try to let the pen guide my thoughts as I intentionally seek His still small voice. I’m not expecting something audible. I’m just hoping my thoughts might perhaps go in a slightly different direction than my normal thought pattern and realize that could be God trying to lead and guide me.
Like I said, I started this book in May and I think I’ve only missed 2 or 3 days. I’m loving my morning time with God. I’m working on what it looks like and feels like to have a dialogue with Jesus. I wake up excited to spend time in this book, His book, and my journal. As a result, I have felt God calm me when I’ve been anxious. I have felt Him comfort me as I weigh difficult choices. I have felt His renewing companionship on my quick walks during the work day. As a result, I feel I’ve been more able to pour into others. I’ve been intentional about giving biblically based advice to friends. I’ve been more accepting of others and felt energetic about showing them God’s love. I’ve felt more filled up so I can pour out into others around me.
Does your time with Jesus need a makeover? I share my experience with this book simply because it’s been rejuvenating for me and I’m thinking someone else might be looking for some Jesus time rejuvenation as well. If you’re in need of a mornings-with-Jesus makeover, I invite you to give this book a try!
Jesus Calling by Sarah Young