After being a Christian almost all of my life, I have no excuse for leaving so many pages of this wonderful Book unturned. I have read through much of it, that is true. Still, I know there are places where God has tucked away special words, just for me, that I have yet to receive because I have never read them.
I am not sharing this to impress you. If it does impress you…well…get over it. There is nothing impressive about it when you consider how easily I have read through all kinds of other books without a problem, often consuming them within a few days. Yet, I seem to have trouble reading even a small portion of the Scripture I claim to hold so dear for more than a few days in a row! There is something wrong with that picture.
Now, I realize that I have four children birthed within the span of four years, and that finding time to read anything, let alone the Bible, is hard.
Yet, I always seemed to find time for my favorite blogs. Or a favorite book. To be clear, my reading choices are good ones, written by godly men and women who do edify and encourage my faith. However, they came between me and time with God. I could have been reading His very words!
The Lord has been so gracious to me, and has fed me through His word by proxy for the last few years. Through excellent teachers and pastors, the aforementioned blogs, through solid teaching on the radio, and through praise and worship. I have lived on the manna of Isaiah 40:11 for a long time.
“He tends the flock like a shepherd:
He gathers the lambs in his arms
and carries them close to his heart;
he gently leads those that have young.”
See that extra grace he has for us mommies with little ones? I have subsisted on that grace for several years now, and I am so glad I had it.
In the NAS, “those that have young” is translated “the nursing ewes.” If anyone was a “nursing ewe,” it was me! I weaned my last little lamb in October of last year at the age of fourteen months. Ever since that time, I have felt a gentle, yet very strong, tug towards reestablishing a personal quiet time in the mornings.
Not a legalistic, guilty feeling that I “should do something” about it either. Every Sunday, I hear my pastor talk about the importance of taking advantage of the life support of Scripture for myself. I have been drinking milk since I had babies, and while that was what I needed at the time, I find myself needing so much more, and I know good and well the only way to get more is to do just that – get more. On my own.
So, I began praying about it. I didn’t know exactly where I wanted to start. I wanted more than a devotional, but I didn’t feel ready to start doing in-depth word studies.
I shared my conviction with Susie, a wonderfully mature woman in the Lord, and a kind mentor to me. She suggested I start with simply reading His word, with a pencil and paper at hand to write down what the Lord might say to me, and shared with me a 52-week plan for reading through the entire Bible.
That hit home, and I have been working on it since. Very imperfectly, but I am already feeling a difference in my life. Every time I open this Book of Books, I feel as though I am taking the most refreshing shower I have ever had in my life! Even if nothing in particular stands out, I find myself just resting in the words, enjoying the power and the life pouring out of the pages.
I have missed out on the highest of high literature – the personal love letter of the Creator of the universe to man. To me.
I am getting more, and I want to share a bit with you, if I may.
“In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice;
in the morning I lay my requests before you
and wait in expectation.”
~Psalm 5:3 (NIV)
Now, I already mentioned that “gentle tugging” I was feeling to dig into the Word of God more. This is one of the ways he has been tugging on my heart.
“In the morning…”
So many people talk about the “best” time to have a quiet time with the Lord, and there are arguments on all sides for it. What I have learned, however, is that God wants all of your time, and if you are giving all your time to him, then it will be that much easier to know what the best time of day is for you to connect with God the most intimately.
God created me to be a morning person. So, for me, mornings are perfect for this.
What better time for me to meet him face-to-face than in the morning? I know for a fact that my days go so much better if I can do this. Things go wrong, of course, but my ability to deal with it graciously, patiently, and wisely is greatly strengthened by my intimacy with God. I truly get to lay my requests at his feet, and I “wait in expectaion” for him to answer.
The best part is that while I am waiting, it is far easier to be content in that state than when I neglect to commune with Jesus and enjoy his company.
I am so grateful to have a God who chooses to use a very gentle, consistent, patient method to get me to listen to him. No smacking me around or chewing me out. Just quiet whispers, nudges, and little hints dropped throughout my day to remind me that he loves me, and wants time with me more than anything else I could give.
So. I have found my “morning,” and am working towards making it permanent. One day at a time.
I am positive I will do a lot of falling, but the Lord is a good father, picking me up by the hand, dusting the dirt off of my scratched knees, and leading me to try again.
How about you? When would you like to have your “morning” time? Why? How do you think it could affect your day-to-day life?