Thursday, February 21, 2008

Obedience

If you read my last post, or if you've talked to me in the last month, you may have read the title here and be thinking that I'm writing about my daughter. It's true that I've been struggling with her in issues of obedience, as any parent of a preschooler can likely relate. But tonight it hit me like a blow to the gut that I'm not being a very good example to her when it comes to obedience. She doesn't know it, but I do... and God does.

Over the last several weeks I've been feeling a deep conviction to get up in the morning, before the rest of my family is awake, and spend time in prayer and reading the Bible. Right now, I usually reserve those things for when my kids are napping in the early afternoon. It has worked out pretty well, though every now and then I miss that time alone because my kids nap at opposite times. Then, of course, there are the days when I say to myself that I'll go and spend that time after I get just one quick thing done... and then maybe one more thing... and, oh, I need to make sure to get this done, too... and then, *yawn* maybe I'll just close my eyes for a couple of minutes first... You get the idea.

I've never been a morning person. My daughter wakes up smiling and cheerful, and for all the ways she is just like me, we can't figure out where on earth this characteristic came from! Waking up is a struggle for me, no matter how much sleep I've gotten. (Sometimes I resist a much-needed nap just so I don't have to wake up twice in one day.) I just don't like mornings.

Recently the message of getting up in the morning to spend time alone with God has started to come at me from all angles. It stood out to me while reading an outstanding autobiography last month. While studying the life of Jesus this year in BSF I observed his example as he got up early to be alone to pray. I've heard it in lectures and it grabs my attention. I've heard it during a sermon at church and I feel my heart pound harder. I even overheard a friend last week mention a similar conviction, completely out of the blue.

If this same concept didn't seem to crop up at every turn, I wouldn't think much more of it than just being an idea. But everywhere I turn I am hearing God saying to me, "Get up! Spend time with Me before your family needs you and before the day gets away from you!"

It's not skywriting, but do we really need God to write us messages in the sky when we already have his written Word?

Isaiah 50:4
He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being taught.


Psalm 5:3
In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.


Mark 1:35
Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.


I have been keeping all of this to myself because I'm afraid someone will want to keep me accountable. Every night for the last few weeks I've gone to bed knowing I should be setting an alarm and haven't done it. And every morning I've woken up to the sound of my kids and have known that I have been disobedient.

If I am expecting obedience from my daughter, and for her to listen to my voice and do as I ask, the least I can do is set for her a good example of obedience. She may not know it or understand it for years, but in my heart I know I can't require obedience from her if it's something I'm not willing to do. I have been listening, but now it's time to obey.

3 comments:

madsonfamily@mac.com said...

Amen, sister! :) Your words are THE VERY thing that the Lord has been telling me this past week! You are the one that confirmed it for me as well! Thank you for listening to the Lord and being willing to share with everyone -- even though now you will be held accountable. The mornings that I do wake up and give the day to the Lord (which is ironic b/c it's already His day to start with!) :) I ALWAYS know that the day has His special blessing marked upon it. When I do get up early I also can be equipped to be a blessing to Him. You can do it!! :)

Anonymous said...

You know it's going to be a morning person who's going to hold you accountable :). But seriously, I hear you. I struggle with the same thing. One idea: I have an alarm clock that can wake me up to a CD. I have the Psalms on CD, so I've been waking up to the Psalms every morning. It has made a huge difference, and it much easier for me than reading first thing in the morning with my bleary eyes. (from Cessy)

Karl Bastian said...

great post... better get to bed so i can get up early. :)