Saturday, September 14, 2013

If I knew what was going to hit so early, I wouldn't have slept so well

Before I go to bed at night, I get the coffee pot ready, loaded with grounds in a little white paper filter, and place a mug on the counter, so that in my early morning stupor, all I have to do is "just add water."  I also set out my Bible, pen and notebook next to the little red chair in the living room.  I am like a fireman preparing his equipment right by the fire truck.

I know in the morning, there is not time for me to bumble about, or I will lose that precious pocket of time. I have learned through the years to read God's Word first. Above anything, that makes the most significant difference in my day. Even as the night owl that I am, I have never regretted getting up those few minutes early to get it done. But I have regretted those times when I haven't.  I read with a pen in hand, to underline, to jot down notes in the margins, and to write down verses that God impresses on my heart for the day, one verse of which I share on my other blog

When I finish, I feel oriented and focused for the day.  Yesterday, it was like getting equipped for a marathon.  No sooner did I finish my reading than my cell phone rang with calls from two of our daughters who were already panicked by what they were facing so early in the morning.  I hung up the phone from each call, still in my pajamas and 500 miles away.  And I knew exactly what to do.

I prayed.  And as I prayed our girls through these crises in real time, what permeated powerfully into my prayers were the words that I had just read, scripture passages that I had written down in my journal.  I found myself praying verses that I had read just a few minutes before.  God's Word hit their situations spot on.

Behold, God is my salvation;
I will trust,
     and will not be afraid,
for the LORD GOD is my strength
      and my song...
                         Isaiah 12.2

Shout, and sing for joy, O inhabitant of Zion,
           for great in our midst
is the Holy One of Israel.
                         Isaiah 12.6

I cry to God Most High,
to God
       who fulfills His purpose for me.
                         Psalm 57.2

I spoke to one of the girls a few hours later, crisis resolved and anxiety nowhere to be found.

When I was a young mom with three daughters ages three and under, a wise old Southern woman Val Curlin came up to me in the church lobby and said, "Make the Bible first.  Don't read anything until you read the Bible.  Not your mail, not a catalog, not anything else.  Make the Bible first."   In those days, my nights of erratic sleep blended seamlessly with little girls wide awake before dawn, one child in need or another.  But if I sought God in it, He would provide me with a pocket of time at some point in the day.  I pounced on it.

That was thirty years ago.  It alone has made the biggest difference in who I am, what I have done, how I have loved my husband and family, and how I have grown.

It matters.  It matters a lot.  I could have slept in a little longer. But God's Word changes my day.  God's Word changes my heart.  And it impacts everyone around me.

We never really know what we are going to face in a day.
But God does.
And He gives us His Word on that.

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