Once upon a Sunday I was lounging at the coffee shop with several books and a mug of my Hot Cinnamon Spice tea.
As I sipped my tea, I noticed a few customers seated at a table, deep in conversation. It reminded me of times in the past when I'd met with friends at a quaint restaurant or coffee shop to catch up. To share the ups and downs of our lives. To rejoice, lament, and laugh with each other. Leaving full of encouragement, comfort, and inspiration. A bond is formed and strengthened.
I thought of what a difference there is between spending time with a friend in a coffee shop and saying hello to a friend in the grocery store.
When I see a friend in the grocery store, it brings a smile to my face (unless I am sneaking through with no makeup and lounge pants!). I chat only for a moment but it can brighten my mood just to see them and remember them.
But it lacks the depth of the coffee shop times.
The more you spend time with someone and the deeper the conversation, the closer you grow.
Including one with our God.
Sometimes my prayers are like a hello in the grocery. I think of the Lord randomly throughout the day. It brightens my mood remembering He's there. I ask for His help in a quick prayer or lift up those around me in prayer.
But if I don't set aside specific time to meet with Him in prayer, my relationship lacks depth. I need my coffee shop time with Him. To have a heart-to-heart conversation and lay it all out before Him. To praise, rejoice, lament, and even laugh.
When I remove distractions, when I quiet and open my heart, when I go deeper in my time with Him...
We grow closer. The bond between Savior and sinner, Father and child, is strengthened. I leave with comfort, encouragement, or inspiration.
The devil knows this. And he will do everything he can to keep us from that quiet time. Distracting us with all the things on our to-do list in the morning. Keeping us rushed and busy during the day so we are too tired in the evening.
The quick "grocery store" prayers throughout the day are wonderful because they connect us to and remind of of God's presence. But we need to set aside quality "coffee shop" time for Him in order to go deeper and grow closer. He wants to hear the ups and downs of our lives.
He is always, always ready to meet with us.
We just need to accept the invitation.