Morning used to be my favorite time of the day. I loved the blank page in the journal, the sun low in the sky, the coffee in my cup and the coolness in the air.
And then I encountered a heartbreaking and difficult season in my life.
For the first time, I had a hard time opening my eyes to the light in my bedroom, I dragged out of bed, and I dreaded the birds' new song. My mind would land on the same daunting thoughts every single morning, and hope seemed swallowed up by the fears and what-ifs that I toted from the previous day into the new one.
It wasn't uncommon for tears to gather in my eyes almost as soon as the morning's light opened them.
But each of those mornings, when I hesitated to lift the covers and leave the safety of my bed, my dearest Friend persistently and gently reminded me that He was waiting for me on my back porch.
I've been prone to have a "daily quiet time" for most of my adult life. Sure, I've had spells of time when I was negligent in this daily ritual, and I've even gone long periods of time when my quiet time was nothing more than a quick cursory read of a short verse and someone else's poetic words. But more days than not, I'm guessing, I've at least sat still for a few moments with God.
When my season of depression began (that's the first time I've owned that word...depression...hmmm) I lumbered on through my daily times of scripture reading and prayers out of necessity and desperation. And God met me where I was. I wouldn't have. If I'd had someone who showed up out of desperation each morning to whine and moan and cry in my presence, I'd have sent some lame excuse for my absence and found someone else to hang with.
But every morning I found the Lord waiting anxiously for me to pour my coffee, let my dogs out and hurry out to the porch already! No kidding, as the days went by I truly sensed that, while I was still dragging my feet, He was practically pacing back and forth, looking at His holy watch and sporting the same silly grin children have when they're waiting for their parents to sit down around the Christmas tree. No disrespect intended here, but I just want you to know that it truly felt like I was keeping an excited and eager God waiting just beyond my sliding glass door each morning!
His enthusiasm is contagious. And that holy enthusiasm is now what causes me to once again cherish my mornings. More than ever before, my "quiet times" are not just a daily ritual or even an anchor for my day. They are the most thrilling and enjoyable times of my week.
I still have mornings when I wake up to tears and fears, frustrations and lingering bad dreams in which I've struggled to sort out those frustrations. But now I quickly move on past those initial daunting emotions and remember that my God awaits my company.
When I sit down on my backporch glider with my coffee, my IPad and a carefully chosen book or two, I know He is there, too. Sure He was also with me when I first awoke, as I slipped back the bed covers and even while I brewed the coffee and released the dogs from their "beds." But when I settle into "our spot" on my porch I feel as though I have arrived for a much anticipated appointment. Like a girl on a date with a special guy, I feel a little nervous, excited and plum pleased to be there. Even better, I feel His pleasure about our meeting as well. His joy warms me and causes me to smile...or cry happy tears.
One of the reasons my quiet times with the Lord have taken on such new life in recent months is because I have become so desperate for His consistent, persistent and overwhelming love. And He has not disappointed me. Like any satisfying and joyful meeting of friends, it is often hard for me to get up and leave our little tryst each morning. The conversation is so rich. His gentle teaching and quiet encouragement resonate so perfectly with my hungry soul. And He's such a caring and compassionate listener. But in the end, it is usually He who dismisses me to move on with my day, promising to stick close throughout and reminding me there is work to be done.
When I began this post, my original intention was to share with you about one of the precious books that the Lord has used to minister His truth and love to me during our daily times together. I still want to do that. But it became important to me for you to know the setting in which I have opened this book and others each morning. So tomorrow I will tell you about Holley Gerth's new devotional guide, What Your Heart Needs for the Hard Days: 52 Encouraging Truths to Hold On To. Please let me share that book with you. It has truly spoken grace and love over me when I desperately needed it. I think it will do the same for you.
But today I'd like to end here for now:
I don't know what you're going through these days. You may be in a season of depression as I've been (there's that word again) or you may be all hunky dory! Or maybe, like most folks on most days, just somewhere in between. But no matter where you are, God wants to meet with you for an amazing, soul-satisfying few minutes tomorrow. He's been trying to get your attention and He would be thrilled for you to take Him up on His persistent invitation. And even if you show up whining and crying or dragging your heels or looking at your watch and hoping to get this thing over with, He will be thrilled to sit with you if you'll let Him. Let Him.
Have a good morning.
Labels: books, daily quiet time, depression