Friday, July 17, 2015

While it is Yet Night

Hello Girls,

On Saturday mornings at 7:30 am I do hot yoga with my sisters.
Before work my husband wakes up early so he can go to the gym before work.
On any given morning half the guys in my hometown are in a deer stand by 5 AM.
Kayla P. and I get to school 3 hours early on the morning of any and every competency.

What do all these scenarios have in common?
Someone is waking up while it is still dark in order to be prepared for the coming day.

Believe it or not, my sisters and I are actually refreshed after sweating a puddle while holding a head stand. We are ready to brave the Florida heat.
My husband is wide awake and prepared for any challenge the next 8 hours may hold.
Those camouflaged sportsmen are ready and waiting for cute animals to awaken.
Kayla and I have studied all of our notes from the past semester before the first professor arrives to turn the lights on. (They always start to say something, then shake their heads in defeat, knowing it's useless to tell us that sleep would do us more good than last-minute studying. Hey, just because you have 2 doctorate degrees doesn't mean you get to mess with our system, ok?)

Besides the practical applications of rising with the sun, there is a spiritual application as well. Just like every facet of our life, our walk with God requires set apart time of separation and quiet. Moments of stillness, like the night.

Proverbs 31.15

She riseth while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.

This doesn't say what the Virtuous Woman was doing when she rose during the night, but whatever she did prepared her to be effective. By her preparation in the night, she fed her family and those who worked for her.                                                                           What does that role mean for you? Every day we are called to serve our patients, our husbands, boyfriends, family, and our friends with our love, our talents, our time, you fill in the blanks. But how can we feed others if we are not being fed?
Jesus, God in the flesh, even took time away in the night to commune with His Heavenly Father. Then amazing things happened.* 

And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up unto a mountain apart to pray, and when the evening was come He was there alone. But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves for the wind was contrary. And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea... Jesus spoke unto them, saying, Be of good cheer, it is I, be not afraid.                                           - Matthew 14.23-24,26

Night is a beautiful time of quiet, stillness, preparation, rejuvenation.

I call to remembrance my song in the night, I commune with mine own heart, and my spirit made diligent search.     - Psalm 77.6

Any one who has experienced a true friendship or true love understand those times in a relationship where words are not needed. You both find comfort in silence. Your bond is strengthened by the ability to share the quiet part of yourself with them. Being able to share stillness with another person creates the steadfastness to handle the ever-changing needs you both have in life.
Being quiet with God is hard. We feel like we always need to be talking. Or we are searching for Him to reveal something novel and groundbreaking to us. But every now and then we should stop talking and craving words. Read a passage you have read a thousand times before and just dwell on it. Go back and read your prayer journal or think of those times He has come through for you and answered your prayers. Turn everything off and just listen to Jesus music (for me that is Bethel Music or Rend Collective, who will probably make it into every post from here on out) or better yet, sit in silence with your mind on Jesus, asking Him to just be with you, content that He knows all of your requests anyway. 
Yet the Lord will command His lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night His song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life.     - Psalm 42.8

Just like the virtuous woman, you will be ready to attend to the day when you rise in the night to prepare your heart and just be with Jesus. 
My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness, and my mouth shall praise Thee with joyful lips when I remember Thee upon my bed and meditate on Thee in the night watches.     - Psalm 63.5-6

Maybe we are struggling to be effective. Maybe we see people everyday who need to be fed spiritually, physically, emotionally and we don't know how to fill that need.
Maybe this is because we are not stopping to be filled spiritually.

David wrote that God's Word was sweeter than honey to him.**
Jesus said He was the Bread of Life and the Living Water.^
Give Jesus your stillness, your quiet hour this week and let Him fill you so that you can't help but overflow love to those around you.
Just like the Virtuous Woman did.
Just like Jesus did.

* And it came to pass in those days, that He went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. And when it was day, He called unto Him His disciples...     - Luke 6.12-13 
And in the day time He was teaching in the temple; and at night He went out and abode in the mount that is called the Mount of Olives. And all the people came early in the morning to Him in the temple, for to hear Him.     - Luke 21.37-38
 And He came out, and went as He was wont, to the Mount of Olives and His disciples also followed Him. And when He was at the place, He said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation. And He was withdrawn from them about a stone's cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me; nevertheless not My will, but Thine, be done. And there appeared an angel unto Him from heaven, strengthening Him.     - Luke 22.39-43
** More to be desired are they (the Words of God) than gold, yea, than much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.     - Psalm 19.10 
^ And Jesus said unto them, I am the Bread of Life. He that cometh to me shall never hunger, and he that believeth on Me shall never thirst.     - John 6.35

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