Now when I passed by thee, and looked upon thee, behold, thy time was the time of love; and I spread my skirt over thee, and covered thy nakedness: yea, I sware unto thee, and entered into a covenant with thee, saith the Lord, God, and thou becamest mine. Ezekiel 16:8.

An old hymn admonishes us to “take time to be holy.”

In our fast-paced society, we hardly have time to unwind. Our minds are working and planning ahead while we sleep. But one thing that can’t be rushed is the building of a lasting relationship. In fact, anything worth pursuing takes time. We learn a great deal when we take time to grow and understand. Often we tend to hurry into a love relationship without taking the time to seek God’s will or get to know the other person. Sometimes, when we seal a business transaction with the stroke of the pen, we haven’t taken the necessary time to read the fine print. Then when problems arise, we wonder, What did I get myself into?

When it comes to building a relationship with Jesus, it is vital that we spend time getting to know Him. The writer of an old hymn understood this when he wrote, “In the Garden.” The song talks about waiting and listening for the voice of God’s Son. The song goes on to use words of relationship such as walks, talks, and tarry.

When we are in love, time seems to stand still. Instead of taking the bus, the train, or driving with our special friend, we often choose to walk together because we have so much to talk about. Sometimes we tarry longer than we should. Jesus wants to walk with us; He is not rushed. He wants to tarry a little longer with us. He wants to listen to our concerns, joys, and sorrows. He wants to repeatedly express his love, saying, “My daughter, I want to cover you with my love again today. You are mine.” What sweet communion we can have with the greatest of all lovers if we would just take the time to get to know him. This Lover will not leave us stranded. He will never divorce us. A break in the relationship would be our choice.

My sisters, would you join me in recommitting to spend quality time for a better relationship with Jesus. Slow down, unwind, chill, relax, and do whatever it takes. Another hymn, “O Love That Wilt Not Let Me Go, describes the reward of a close friendship with Christ: we can rest our weary souls in Him, forever sure that we are in a forever relationship

Joan M. Leslie

First published in Notes of Joy (Nampa, ID: Pacific Press), 2018.
Carolyn R. Sutton, editor