The first time I woke up this morning, it was 3:30. A.M. All of a sudden, I felt a heavy weight of impending doom. It reminded me of times in high school when I knew there was going to be a test (a final?) and I wasn’t ready. Fortunately, I went back to sleep. For two hours. Then, I woke up again, and the wave hit me. Again. It threatened to consume me.
Yesterday, a friend of mine posted a picture of the RIM FIRE in the mountains of central California. It’s been raging out of control for weeks, despite the efforts of thousands of fire fighters, planes and other equipment battling it. The path of destruction left in its wake boggles the imagination. It’s expected to rage for another two weeks before full containment.
As I woke this second time, I remembered how I used to wake up like this every morning. And lots of times, the days would stay just this dark, in spite of my efforts to overcome that which was causing so much destruction in me. This morning, I rose and made my way to “My Morning Place” I’ve come to love my habit of starting my day in this quiet place. Miracles happen here.
“Lord, You knew about this day in my life before I was born. All my days were written in your book before one of them came to be. I thought I knew what this day was going to be. I have several expectations listed in my iPhone of what this day will hold, tasks that need to be accomplished, but none of them account for this sense of fear. At times it comes in waves, an approaching forest fire of apprehension. I want to run. Again. Like before. But where could I go? You alone have the words that promise to bring me peace.”
Today, as I was still, in this place, in His Presence, in His Word, and in my journal, these thoughts became mine:
He’s GOD, I’m not
Jesus is (my) Lord, He holds me with(in) His hand
If He’s not God on the Dark Days of my life, He’s not God!
He promises to “Never leave me, never forsake me.”
He’s begun a good work. In me. He promises to bring it to completion
If I always walk in sunshine, I’ll have no compassion for those walking in darkness.
“Say what?” Compassion? “Lord, I want this day to be about ME! I don’t feel like thinking about somebody else. I want to go back to bed, curl up and pull the covers over me.” …Like I used to.
Ok, maybe I’m beginning to get it. “ME” is a very lonely place. A dark place. A place that destroys me. You won’t leave me there, because I asked you to change me, to teach me to trust. MORE.
“Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul. Rescue me from my enemies, O Lord, for I hide myself in you. Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground. For your name’s sake, O Lord, preserve my life; in your righteousness, bring me out of trouble. In your unfailing love, silence my enemies; destroy all my foes, for I am your servant.”
Psalms 143: 8-12 NIV
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