Wednesday, May 19, 2010

A Recipe For A Great Day

Psalm 5:1-3
O Lord, hear me as I pray;pay attention to my groaning. Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God, for I pray to no one but you. Listen to my voice in the morning, Lord. Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly.

For some reason over the past couple weeks, God has woken me up several times in the early morning.

In fact, one morning last week, I woke up before daylight and sleep escaped me. No matter how hard I tried to keep my eyes shut and catch a few last zzzzz's, it just was not happening for me. I felt my Bible calling my name.

So before sunrise, I found myself wrapped up in my robe, sitting on my deck chair, with just enough light to make out the words in the Bible. The morning birds were chirping, the dew was moist on the ground, a few cricket sounds lingered, some dogs barked in the distance, and the smell of a crisp new day filled the air. Before I knew it, an hour had passed, and I had nearly let the kids oversleep for school!

But I could tell a difference in myself that morning. I was refreshed. I felt renewed. I felt lighter. I felt happy. I felt good.

Not because of anything I had done, but because of what God had done in my heart. He had called me into conversation, spoken to my spirit, lifted my burdens, and helped me to have a more positive perspective about things that had been worrying me.

In the verses above from Psalm 5, the last sentence in verse 3 really stuck out to me. David tells us that each morning, he would bring his requests to God. He did not say that at the end of the day, he talked with God. He did not say that occasionally he would find some free time to pray while he was riding his camel from one city to the next. Nope, he said "each morning", as in, EVERY morning.

I have read the verse many times, in Mark 1:35 that says, "Before daybreak the next morning, Jesus got up and went out to an isolated place to pray." I have always believed that if Jesus felt it was important to embrace the silence and solitude of the early morning to pray, that it should also be a priority to me, however, I rarely do that. But upon reading this verse in Psalm 5, the reality of this seemed to really hit hard.

Now this particular morning that I had gotten up early and spent time with God outside, was certainly not the first time God had woken me up early, nudging me to talk with Him, but the difference this time, was that I actually acted on that nudging.

You know, even when I have the best intentions of reading my daily reading, or carving a segment of my day out to spend in prayer, my day often gets in the way. My tasks get me off track and other things in life fight for my attention. More times than not, my prayer and bible study time seem to get pushed farther and farther down the list. I tell myself that I can talk to God at any time, but my to-dos require more immediate attention. Right?

Wrong?! But you know, that is a really sad, but accurate, statement of how most of us operate. Life is busy! I know God understands that, but in order to deal with that busyness in an Godly way, we need God - thus the importance of giving God our first moments of the day, before the rat race starts all over again.

So in Psalm 5, we are encouraged to get up early, and pray. BUT THEN..... David said "he waited expectantly" to hear from God.

Girl, getting up early is one thing, but waiting expectantly?! That is much easier said than done. You see, I do not like to wait. In fact, I hate waiting. I hate waiting in line at the store to pay. I hate waiting for my food in a restaurant. I hate waiting for a check to come in the mail. I hate waiting for my teenage daughters to get ready every morning (in their oh-so-sweet time).

I hate waiting to purchase something until I can afford it, because frankly, I want it right now! I guess I am a "I want-it-right-now and I-want-it-my-way kind of girl". (I know, not my best trait). Smiles. But lets face it, nobody likes to wait, especially when it comes to hearing from God, getting our requests granted, our problems solved, our circumstances changed, or our prayers answered.

In fact, I can better relate to the writer of Psalm 102, who is described as "an afflicted man", where he says (vs 1-2) "Hear my prayer, O LORD; let my cry for help come to you. Do not hide your face from me when I am in distress. Turn your ear to me; when I call, answer me quickly." I would really like it if God would not only answer my prayers, but do it quickly! I guess me and the afflicted man have something in common.

But I really want to have more in common with David, in regards to my willingness and desire to arise before the sun, pour out my requests to God, and wait expectantly for His voice, His answers, and His intervention in my life.

One last important thing that I want to point out about David today is in Psalm 8, in that before David got those answers he wanted, while he was enduring the wait, he praised God.

Psalm 8:3-5 says, "When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor."

David looked at the night sky and the work of Gods hands, and was in awe. He thought about how unworthy he was of Gods love, and was in awe. He remembered how much God cared about him, and he was in awe.

Then Psalm 9:10 says "Those who know your name trust in you,for you, O Lord, do not abandon those who search for you." Once again, just like in the Psalms we talked about yesterday, David acknowledges that his God will never leave Him.

I want to be in awe today. Not drowning in worry, focused on problems, void of peace, and frustrated at Gods seemingly apparent lack of urgency. Not anxiously waiting for God to act, but expectantly waiting for His perfect timing. Simply, in awe, no matter what He chooses to do, or when He chooses to do it.

Our challenge today is to be more like David, than that of an afflicted man (or woman). Ask God to start waking you up a little earlier in the days to come, and when He does, get up! Pour out your requests to Him, and then wait - but wait with great expectation that He will answer, not with anxiety about the ifs/whens/or hows. And praise Him for who He is and all He has done.

Awake.... Arise.... Pray.... Wait... Praise.

Five little steps that give us the simple recipe to insure a great day, every day.

Once we learn to whip up this recipe each morning, the result will not only be a great day in the Lord, but nothing less than pure blessing.

A Recipe For A Great DaySocialTwist Tell-a-Friend


Anonymous said...

I'm actually going to send my son the link to this blog entry. Thank you. He is grieving through the breakup of a 3.5 year relationship with his girlfriend. We were all sure they would get married eventually, but something has happened in her and she ended their relationship in a very hurtful manner. I've been praying for so very long that God would bring my son into His family (I have prayed this for them both) and while his suffering is tearing my heart out I am praising God for answering my prayers. We've been talking a lot and I am encouraging my son to pray each morning, seeking God with his whole and wounded heart, laying his burdens at His feet and waiting with expectation for God's plan and timing. Tracie, (and anyone who reads this) please join me in praying for not only my son but for Rheanna as well. She is making choices that are completely out of character for her and she is headed down a very dangerous path. She has been diagnosed with depression and she is dealing with it by choosing things that will momentarily and temporarily ease the burden/pain. I pray for my son to Awake.... Arise.... Pray.... Wait... Praise. I know God is in control and I am SO very glad and grateful. I pray also for Him to continue to lead me in how to be an encouragement for my son.

Thank you Tracie. You are such a blessing to so many.

Tracie Miles said...

Terrilynn - thank you so much for your comment. I will most definitely be praying for your son and for Rheanna. Breakups are difficult under any circumstances, but this one sounds like a lot of pain has come along with the damage that has happened to their relationship. Please know I will be lifting your family up, and praying that God will use this circumstance to tug at your sons heart.

Amaris in Wonderland said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

This is exactly what God has been reminding me of - again...

This next week we have a trip to the coast planned. My plan is to do just this. I know it will be hard because the crew that we are going with are my husband's friends: partiers - and none are saved, that i know of.

It is a group of 50 couples - including my mother-in-law, who looks down on me, if i'm not willing to stay up ‘til 4am with my husband every night. (Can you tell i've been through this before?)

This time it's a larger group, and my m-i-l has been trying to convince my husband's friends to show him how much happier he'd be if he was single. This has been a recurring campaign by my m-i-l, since we've been married. (We celebrate our 8th anniversary next month.)

Here recently, my m-i-l has even stepped up the defamation by telling people that "[i] will never be happy here, because [i] dislike the people of this country - and that [i] should just go back to the U.S. and let [her] son salvage what's left of his life, to pursue his dreams."

Needless to say, i know this is all an attack of the Enemy, but it will make for an interesting - not necessarily refreshing - stay at the beach. I know my only strength comes from God, and i want to meet with Him every morning - early... and i am so not a morning person. Grin.

God is the ONLY reason that we are still happily married. We have been through a lot - especially when we moved here to his native country. The culture is not monogamy or marriage friendly, nor are my in-laws.

We have a few married friends here, but he is reluctant to hang out with “church people”… Until he is saved, and i wait expectantly for God to do this, it is an uphill battle. The Lord has changed his heart immeasurably, and i thank Him for that.

I remember Jeremiah 29:11 - and want so badly to make this change to meet with Him every morning, as well! (I usually do this at night before bed.)

Thank you for your encouragement!