This morning I awakened refreshed, peaceful, not weary and dreading climbing out of bed like I had been most days.
Since I began to open my heart and my life to Him more, God has filled me with a sense of peace and joy that I haven't felt in a long time--maybe never felt.
My Bible was lying on my desk when I got up, and like a thirsty person to water I was drawn to it. I like using my concordance when I'm not sure where to start reading, and appropriately to the time I looked up the word "morning" and found Psalm 5. The first three verses read,
"Give ear to my words, O LORD,
consider my sighing.
Listen to my cry for help,
my King and my God,
for to you I pray.
In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice;
in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation."
The whole psalm is a prayer asking God to bless, watch over, and protect the writer, David, and a plea for justice against David's enemies. Verse three doesn't mean that God only hears our prayers in the morning, but what better time, I thought as I began talking to God, what better time to lay requests before him than at the beginning of the day?
The first two verses of the hymn "With the Lord Begin Your Task" read as follows:
With the Lord begin your task; Jesus will direct it.
For His aid and counsel ask; Jesus will perfect it.
Every morn with Jesus rise, and when day is ended
In His name then close your eyes; be to Him commended.
Let each day begin with prayer, praise and adoration.
On the Lord cast every care; He is your salvation.
Morning, evening, and at night, Jesus will be near you,
Save you from the tempter's might, with His presence cheer you.
When I am beginning a new day, my desire is to honor and glorify God in every one of that day's thoughts, words and actions. He is always with me whether I ask for his presence or not, but when I request his presence and his guidance for that day, I know he will grant it. When I ask him to love and bless others through me, I know he will hear my prayer. When I thank him for his protection that night, thank him for a beautiful new day full of new grace, blessings and forgiveness, I know he hears me. When I praise him for his goodness, his power and might, the wonderful way he keeps all life in motion and gives me everything I need every day, I know he is there and has received my praise.
Knowing that my Creator is with me every moment of every day not only helps keep me from sinning but it is the greatest comfort I've experienced. The God who made me, who saved me and who loves me more than I can imagine, wants to be with me all the time; he wants me to spend my day talking to him, thanking and praising him and living in the joy of being loved by him.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 read, "Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."
I'm not always happy all the time, but my joy is not dependent on physical circumstances but on the knowledge that I am a loved, saved and forgiven daughter of Almighty God. The admonition to pray continually I don't see as a law but as a sweet invitation to be in constant fellowship with my Creator throughout the day. And the phrase "give thanks in all circumstances" reminds me that no matter how bad my life might seem, I always have many things to be thankful for, because God just blesses me that much.
Today, I am going to rest in the presence of the God who made and loves me, and pray that every day might be the same.