The first text came just as I was getting dressed, not quite ready to appear in public:
Put your head out the door and look at the sky.
I peeked out the door, then threw on whatever clothes were within reach and grabbed my camera. Had to get outside.
Just then another text came from someone else: Sunrise alert!
God was simply putting an exclamation point after what He had been saying to me that morning. He knows me well, and He knows the effect morning light has on me. And this morning light was spectacular.
The conversation with God had actually started the morning before when, in our small Sunday-morning group, one man — who is in a situation most of us can hardly imagine — expressed his deep faith in Jesus’ promise:
“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33).
Jesus says the highest priority of His disciples is the kingdom of God, seeking to live out His kingdom right where we are in whatever circumstances we are. The kingdom of God is what is to have our prime time, the fullness of our energy, the urgency of our thoughts. The Father knows what we need in this life—not only spiritually, but also physically—and it is “His business” (said this believer on Sunday morning) to provide that for His children. He is the Great Shepherd.
Ah. Our business is the kingdom. God’s business is providing the necessities for the lives of His children.
That started me thinking about how I spend my days. What always gets first place on my to-do list. What gets my morning time (my prime time) and what is saved for oh-whenever-I-have-a-few-minutes. I tried to imagine a bar graph that would show in stark, colored detail the amount of time I spend tending to what I think are “necessary” things in life (or worrying and thinking about such things) compared to the time I’m giving to life in the kingdom.
I confess, I’m almost afraid to look too closely at the detail of that graph.
This man’s testimony was yet one more nudge from the Spirit. I’ve been grappling with one thing in my life, one thing that it seems I cannot let go of. The Spirit says I must let it go and trust Him fully. Prying my fingers loose is so hard. I’ve grown up in a culture that argues against fully trusting God for all things. Our culture says we must be our own providers, our own strength, our own … can I say it? … our own gods.
Then, on the spectacular-sunrise morning, I read this wonderful verse:
“Don’t be afraid. Just stand still and watch the LORD rescue you today. The [enemies] you see today will never be seen again. The LORD himself will fight for you. Just stay calm” (Exodus 14:13).
That’s Moses, telling a frantic, desperate people that God would indeed protect and provide for them. Those people saw absolutely no way out of the predicament they were in. So God turned a sea into a desert road in order to rescue them.
Just after I read that story, along came an email directing me to a blog that ended with the same verses in Matthew 6 that I had been thinking about: “Seek ye first …”
And then came the sunrise. A gift from One who loves me and wants me to trust Him in all things.
So I would like to shout this from the rooftop:
THERE IS NOTHING LIKE STARTING THE DAY WITH A DIRECT PROMISE FROM GOD!
(Source: Elaine, from her rooftop, under sunrise skies)
Nothing, just nothing like it!
I cannot doubt today that God is in this place where I now stand and He intends to keep every promise He’s made to me.
Oh, Father, help my unbelief.
Hi, Elaine! Seems like I haven’t heard from you in awhile. I have been a part of Jeff’s 500 Word Challenge, and have been reading a lot from writers who post there on facebook. There’s some great help and encouragement there. I haven’t been in class since before Christmas. I am stuck between moving my blog to wordpress.org and working on an ebook. I consider you a friend since your encouragement from class really gave me a boost. Still writing. I’m glad you showed up in my reader today. Blessings to you! Hope all is well with you.
Exodus 14:13 is a great verse that I really needed to hear today. Thanks for the post and the verse.