Hungry. Angry. Lonely. Tired.
I had a moment this past weekend that showed me that I was “off.” I am an introvert, and I need moments away from other people (even my family) to gather my thoughts and fill up. I call it “Tif Time.” Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely adore people. I’ve just learned that I have to make time to be alone. Here’s what happened that let me know I was “off.” Please have grace with me, people!
Our worship pastor threw a birthday party for his oldest daughter and invited us to come. He noticed that I was standing and very politely asked me if I wanted to sit in his chair. He was being a gentleman. Would you like to know how I responded? “NO! I DON’T WANT TO SIT DOWN. I am feisty and I’m grumpy and I don’t want to sit.” Y’all. I went off on the man for being kind to me! It wasn’t pretty.
Have you ever been there? You probably haven’t because you have more self-control than I do! But maybe you have. My youth pastor used to tell us to H.A.L.T. It is an acronym for hungry, angry, lonely and tired. Hungry can mean literal hunger but for me it usually means longing for something or feeling empty.
These feeling indicate that we need to stop and get our bearings straight. Last week was a lot for me and my little introverted self. We didn’t guard our time and ran 90 miles an hour. By the time it got to Sunday, I just exploded.
This is all after Jesus stopped me in my front room and invited me to come in close to Him a few day before. I posted this picture on my social media with the following caption.
“I have about a million things to do today. We are launching a second service @keypointchurchspringdale, organizing and remodeling the campus, getting ready to begin translating services into Spanish, Growth Track begins this weekend, have women’s services to plan for, and on and on. I’m trying to be faithful to my new blog @choosingtrust and work part time and be wife and mom. Bottom line: lots to do today! (Not complaining. I live for this stuff!)
I heard the Lord tell me to sit and pray. Really God!? Like, right now? There’s so much to do! Yes, baby girl, because if you try to get that stuff done without me, you’ll miss it. It’s convicting how prayer is the first thing I take off my schedule when life is busy. Prayer isn’t a small, insignificant thing. It is THE thing. “I have so much to do that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer.” Martin Luther”
And here I was 5 days later, telling off our worship pastor!
Jesus is our example. He repeatedly got away from everyone and spent time with His Father. Think about this: The Son of God, who was present at creation, had to escape the crowds and get alone with His Father.
“The priority of Jesus’ solitude and silence is everywhere in the Gospels. It’s how he began his ministry. It’s how he made important decisions. It’s how he dealt with troubling emotions like grief. It’s how he dealt with the constant demands of his ministry and cared for his soul. It’s how he taught his disciples. It’s how he prepared for important ministry events. It’s how he prepared for his death on the cross. Jesus’ solitude is how he went deeper in his love-relationship with the God he knew as Abba. Jesus invites us to join him.” (Quote was taken from this great post. https://www.soulshepherding.org/jesus-solitude-and-silence/)
“Immediately after this he was compelled by the Holy Spirit to go into an uninhabited desert region.” Mark 1:12 TPT
“But Jesus often slipped away from them and went into the wilderness to pray.” Luke 5:16 TPT
“Once again Jesus withdrew with his disciples to the lakeside…” Mark 3:7 TPT
“After the crowds dispersed, Jesus went up into the hills to pray. And as night fell he was there praying alone with God.” Matt 14:23 TPT
“Then Jesus led his disciples to an orchard called “The Oil Press.” He told them, “Sit here while I go and pray over there.” Matt 26:36
I can get out of alignment very quickly. I always think about this when I’m driving. My car doesn’t have to work to get out of alignment. It is just what happens when I let go of the steering wheel. We don’t have to work to get out of alignment either. Rather, staying in alignment is what takes the work.
If you are hungry, angry, lonely and/or tired, remember this:
- You have the time to HALT. We all have the same number of hours in our day. If Jesus found time to get alone with God during His very public ministry, then so do we. It might mean we that we have to take our lunch breaks, baby’s nap time, early mornings, or late evenings to get with God.
“The next morning, Jesus got up long before daylight, left the house while it was dark, and made his way to a secluded place to give himself to prayer.” Mark 1:35
- If you know you need to HALT, do it as soon as possible. You risk damage to yourself and others by pushing ahead before you are well and rested.
“Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.” Psalm 91:1 NIV
- Be quiet.This is not a time to talk to others before we have gone to God. Complaining, bickering, division, and comparison are the fruit of talking when we are out of alignment. If you need to process with someone (after you’ve talked with God), go to someone who will tell you what you need to hear, not just what you want to hear.
“Can you bridle your tongue when your heart is under pressure? That’s how you show that you are wise. An understanding heart keeps you cool, calm, and collected, no matter what you’re facing.” Prov 17:27 MSG
- Remember your assignment.This post has more details. I often realize that I’m “off” because I added stuff to my plate that wasn’t mine to carry.
“Set your gaze on the path before you.
With fixed purpose, looking straight ahead,
ignore life’s distractions.” Prov 4:25 TPT
- Get back to basics. Pray, journal, listen to Holy Spirit, read your Bible. The simple things seem always to be the first to go for me. They are essential.
“Stop imitating the ideals and opinions of the culture around you, but be inwardly transformed by the Holy Spirit through a total reformation of how you think. This will empower you to discern God’s will as you live a beautiful life, satisfying and perfect in his eyes.” Romans 12:2
- Do something that makes you happy. Know what fills you up. HALT-ing doesn’t mean you have to only do spiritual stuff. Go on a walk, watch a movie, get your nails done, have friends over for dinner, etc.
“So, I commend the enjoyment of life, because there is nothing better for a person under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad. Then joy will accompany them in their toil all the days of the life God has given them under the sun.” Ecc 8:15 NIV
My sweet man has gotten used to this need to HALT in me and has developed a good barometer for when I have denied myself my Tif time. He is quick to tell me too! “Girl, go get in the closet!” He just got back from a work trip and I was at the door ready to leave the house so that I could HALT. He protects that time for me and I so appreciate him for that.
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Matt 11:28-30 MSG
I’ve written on rest the past two weeks because I have needed the reminder. Last week’s post on Sabbath can be found here. If we HALT in response to being hungry, angry, lonely, and tired, then let’s only GO when we’ve prioritized being full, at peace, in community, and rested.