It’s exquisite, really. I sit here sipping from a green-and-gold antique teacup that has intricate mother-of-pearl inlaid on both the cup and saucer. The tea itself is amazing as well: loose-leaf Moon over Madagascar, a black tea with subtle overtures of vanilla. I feel comforted and grateful.

Most days I grab a mug and a teabag and am quite content with that combination as I go about the business of the day. But there are times when it’s nice to slowly appreciate and even savor the taste and experience. Drinking from my fancy cup always makes me linger in the quiet. It begs the question, Why don’t I do this more often? I enjoy it so much, and somehow it rejuvenates my spirit.

I approach God in much the same way.

Most days, I read from a devotional book, read several verses from my Bible, then spend some time in prayer. I often write my thoughts and prayers in a journal, but sometimes only the most pressing issues of the day make it into the script.

And then there are those precious times where I reserve quality chunks of time to spend in meditation on the Word and in prayer. Like a long, cool drink of water to a parched soul, those times nourish me like nothing else can. I find myself pouring out my gratitude for God’s amazing faithfulness in my life. It always seems natural and right then to make sure that nothing in my heart or life is blocking communication between myself and God. I confess my sin, fear, bad attitudes, and faults and ask Him to cleanse me once again.

And then I pour out the pain: some of my own and some for others whose burdens I feel so deeply. The load that many carry is so heavy. There is sickness and pain, emotional hurt and scarring, and various difficulties that so many people I love (and many I don’t even know) are walking through. Being able to give these needs over to God through prayer creates a release in my spirit. On my own, I could never bear the weight of the load. But then the Savior comes alongside and reminds me that all these things are in His hands. All these people are in His loving care, and He is absolutely big enough and able to carry the weight of the world on His shoulders.

And all at once I notice that peace has replaced the heaviness I had previously known. He promises to trade our heavy burden for His light one, if only we will share (Matthew 28:11-30).

Once again I am filled with gratitude and awe for who God is. And I linger for a while longer in His precious presence. Worship flows from my heart and my lips. It’s exquisite, really. The opportunity is always before me, if I just make the time for it. And I am reminded, Why don’t I do this more often? I enjoy it so much, my spirit is rejuvenated, and I am changed.