I have not kept the good news of your justice hidden in my heart; I have talked about your faithfulness and saving power. I have told everyone in the great assembly of your unfailing love and faithfulness.
Psalm 40:10 (NLT)
There’s been a shift in The Wilderness Place, a stirring in my heart as we have entered our season of retirement. Finding new rhythms has been somewhat of a struggle. Morning routines have changed and changed again as I strive to find my footing in a new dance.
My first inclination was to follow the rhythm of my body, sleeping a bit later, not having an alarm ungraciously beeping in my ear, the normal things you spend a lifetime waiting for. Right? The morning looked the same, but with a later start.
Things were lost in the later start. Prayers became a scrap heap, scattered here and there. My time in the Word was not productive. I was flailing about begging for a mere whisper from God.
I am learning the thing I have longed for is not necessarily the best thing for me. Have you found that as well?
I know this, I’m betting you know it as well. We often find ourselves in a tangled web when we follow our longings. Even worse, they cost us something or someone. More often those longings lead us places we have no business going. Discontentment. Discouragement. Faithlessness. Empty of life-giving words.
This new season without schedules and routine had left me free-falling. Disconnected. It took some weeks to put my finger on it. I was feeling pinched, squeezed, somehow. The ticking clock over my desk was no longer soothing, rather it was filling me with a feeling of hurriedness. Hurrying through the places I’m prone to linger. Life-giving places.
It was catching up and I was feeling as dry as Ezekial’s Valley of Dry Bones. (Ezekial 37)
I began to set the alarm again. Five am found me on my deck, hot coffee in hand, gazing up at the sky. There’s a vastness here in our wilderness place, and when I stand in it, I feel smaller. I am able to see a God bigger than me. I did the things I know. The thing, I know to fall back on when I’m feeling this way.
Back at my desk, I turned to familiar words of praise.
The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftmanship. Day after day they continue to speak; night after night they make him known. They speak without a sound or word; their voice is never heard. Yet their message has gone throughout the world. Psalms 19:1-4(NLT)
I’ve prayed through Psalms 19 many times as a praise to God. On this particular morning, it was different. My eyes were opened to a new thing, God’s faithfulness. We serve a God who shows up day after day, after day.
I don’t know about your life, but in mine, there is more than one unreliable person, place, or thing. I can’t always count on the mail carrier to deliver the mail in the same time frame each day. I can’t always rely on my Sweet Man to read the grocery list I sent with him. Or, that I have put coffee beans in the coffee maker. Oh yes, I am familiar with this one. You can’t rely on me to remember your birthday, much less send a card in time. My Soul Sister will tell you she cannot rely on me to put the coffee cup under the Keurig in the hotel room. And on it goes.
But, I, we, can rely on God to be faithful, to show up day after day after day. Night after night after night.
We may not always get the healing we are asking for, the answers we so desperately need. And yet, God shows up day after day.
Whether or not I set the alarm, or I sleep in, God still shows up. The difference for me is our time together is less rushed, my heart untainted by the day already spilled over, disrupting my time with Him. It’s in the wee early darkness I can hear Him best. I’m more attentive. More alert. I have time to listen, rather than tossing out a list of requests. Can I just tell you how faithful He is to me at this time? There’s a sweetness, a completeness I feel when I meet with Him in the dark. Don’t misunderstand me, these things can be had at any time, at any moment, of my day or yours. But in the early morning hours, I am less distracted, less affected, more attentive than any other time. And He is faithful to meet me there.
The Sovereign Lord has given me his words of wisdom so that I know how to comfort the weary.
Morning by morning he wakens me and opens my understanding to his will.
Isaiah 50:4 (NLT)
I don’t get up early because I’m a super hero or super spiritual. I get up early because I am needy and broken, thirsting for Living Water. Needing life-giving words before I enter into a day where the demands of life can weary me, wearing me down. Clinging to His faithfulness to fill my broken places.
Gifts of Grace
I’m blessed to serve you in this place, to share with you the Gifts of Grace as I journey through the wilderness. I picture you across the table, hands wrapped tightly around your cup, sharing life, and laughter, and tears. As I share with you, my own daily struggles, I long to hear what yours may be. Sharing the realness of life. You can do that by commenting below or reaching out to me here.
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In case you missed these posts:
When Silence Speaks Louder Than Words