“While he was saying this, a synagogue leader came and knelt before him and said, ‘My daughter has just died. But come and put your hand on her, and she will live.’ Jesus got up and went with him, and so did his disciples. Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak. She said to herself, ‘If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed.’ Jesus turned and saw her. ‘Take heart, daughter,’ he said, ‘your faith has healed you.’ And the woman was healed at that moment.”
– Matthew 9:18-22
We’ve been discussing several habits and behaviors that will help us live abundantly in the new year this week. We’ve discussed intentional relaxation and ruthlessly eliminating hurry so far, and today I’d want to introduce you to a third discipline that I believe can help you become a more successful Jesus follower: leaving gaps in your life.
I don’t know about you, but if I have a noon meeting, I usually schedule my day so that I reach my location by 12:00, not 11:50 or 11:55. This, however, provides no room for traffic or any other unanticipated events that may arise. Then, if something happens that causes me to be even a few minutes late, I become agitated and late. This is why Christian monks engage in a spiritual practice known as statio, in which they arrive early to a commitment to be in the correct frame of mind and have more time to pray and prepare their hearts. In essence, when I advise you to leave gaps in your life, I’m recommending this behavior. Extra time in your schedule allows you to live unhurriedly and respond to the Holy Spirit’s promptings. When Jesus was on His way to heal the synagogue leader’s daughter in Matthew 9 and the woman with the issue of bleeding approached Him, He might have ignored her or dismissed her. He took the time to affirm her healing and offer her compassion because He wasn’t rushed; the same may be said for us.
Friend, the next time you have an appointment, arrive five to ten minutes early, sit in your car or take a little stroll, and just pray. Allow the Lord to work in and through you, during the time you’ve set apart, and pray for the person or individuals you’ll be meeting with. When you become interruptible, you become a great ambassador for Jesus who remains at peace even when things don’t go according to plan. So, leave voids in your life and watch as God fills them with incredible interactions that will help you grow closer to Him and others!
Jesus, help me as I commit this year to leave gaps in my life and schedule. As I commit to being less worried and hurried, I want you to flow in and through me.
Where in your life and schedule might you be able to create gaps? What are your plans for that time?
If you’re unable to attend your local church or need some additional weekly inspiration, be sure to tune into Hour of Power every Saturday night at 6:30 p.m. PT on TBN or watch online at hourofpower.org/episode.