Talking to God When You’d Rather Not

Do you ever choose tasks or activity over talking to God? What our hearts need most isn’t to “get through this” but bring our longings and our fears to Him.

“Oh Lord, all my longing is before you; my sighing is not hidden from you.” Psalm 38:9 (ESV)

The days just after the world shut down proposed to be slow. No lacrosse season, a canceled spring play, no more hosting a bi-weekly Bible study. My diaper bag collected dust in the corner. And the car no longer needed a Saturday cleaning.

If there was ever a time to talk to God, wasn’t it then?

Except the new normal, albeit slower, required frequent adjusting. Which class was now on Zoom? Where is that link? Grocery delivery – the best invention for large families – currently on hold.

Creating normal for not just myself but all the people under my roof held priority. My day and my family needed my full, undivided attention.

Or did they?

My children need dinner. My teenagers need heart touch-points. My little ones need time on my lap. My friends need responses to their texts.

So many needs … where is there time to talk to God?

A few days into quarantine and I paused to notice myself. Here’s what I saw: longer-than-normal stretches of tasking, not talking to God. Fear in my heart, untended. Quick reactions to my husband. Low-grade anxiety, posing as a craving for sugar.

I’d been here before, assuming that time with God needed long-minutes, and a candle, and wiped-countertops. Thus, it feels inaccessible, and I charge ahead with tasks and responsibilities.

Under that, however, is the more accurate story: I’m slow to turn to God when it’s inconvenient.

My muscle memory urges me to task, over talking to Him.

It’s hard to access my emotions and bring them to Him when my world tilts.

Talking to God in the Middle Minutes

We have more in common than we think: we all struggle to talk to God in the middle minutes of our day.

Watch yourself today. Pay attention. When you read a headline of pending doom, receive a text from a friend that feels insensitive, have a child unravel at your feet: what is your response? Does the rest of that day include focused task and flash-pot reacting, or do you slip away to a quiet place and bring your sighs to God?

As David said: “Oh Lord, all my longing is before you; my sighing is not hidden from you” (Psalm 38:9 ESV).

When I pause to talk to God after I read that headline or after the child unravels, it’s revelatory. I turned to Him because, in that one minute, I considered Him safe to receive all of me, not shaming but inviting me in my weakness.

When I feel the sighs, and the unmet longing, and the anxiety, and yet make the subtle choice to ignore them and task, it’s revelatory. In that minute, I consider God distant from my pain and blind to my ache.

Dear friend, the “man after [God’s] own heart” (1 Samuel 13:14) brought his shame, his weakness, his longing, his fears, and his doubts to God. And the God who saw all of it, received him.

What our hearts need most isn’t to “just get through this” and to “steward well what He has given us, in this time” … but to bring our sighs, and our longing, and our fears to Him, even when it’s inconvenient.

Especially when it’s inconvenient.

He is waiting to receive you in all your buried angst today.

In His Word

His delight is not in the strength of the horse, nor his pleasure in the legs of a man,
but the Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love.” Psalm 147:10-11 (ESV) 

In Your Life 

This week, how have you seen yourself choosing task or activity over talking to God?

 We Recommend 

For anyone who longs to experience God in the thick of life’s demands, Sara Hagerty’s Adore offers a simple, soul-nourishing practice for engaging with God in the middle minutes of your day. In Adore, Sara Hagerty gives us all permission to admit, “I barely know You, God,” and with this honest admission, to scoot a little nearer to this familiar stranger.

You can find ADORE wherever books are sold. As an early-May special, Church Source is offering ADORE for $10.

Watch the trailer here.

Let’s Connect

Sara writes most frequently on Instagram and in her monthly newsletter. Want a place to start talking to God from His Word, download her free May Adoration printable.