We’ve arrived at the 18th verse of Psalm 139, the psalm we’ve been give as our guidepost prior to Annual Conference for the Louisiana United Methodist Churches.
NIV Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand – when I awake, I am still with you.
Dog owners can relate to the video below.
If you’ve ever had a dog, you are well aware that when the sun rises, it is time to GET UP!
Seriously, there’s no messing around.
Whether it’s a cold wet nose startling your skin, feverish digging beneath your covers or the ever-popular front paw pounce on your face, dogs have no interest in sleeping in.
Sometimes, I imagine God in this way.
He too wants us to get up and get going!
He wants to chase a few tennis balls in the backyard, take a quick stroll, play some tug of war with that ratty old sock – anything, just as long as you are spending time with Him.
But, I will be honest with you. It’s tough – isn’t it?
In verse 18, we have the psalmist praising that even upon waking, he is still thinking and pondering God.
Now that’s a holy connection to God.
Because when I wake up? It’s a slow drag to spend quality time with God.
Don’t get me wrong, I am always a better person for starting my day with God in praise and thankfulness, but as I rise – the world is trying so hard to drag me away.
The emails whisper for attention, as does the TV, the kids, the coffee. Well, the coffee is screams for my attention but that’s regardless.
For years, my bartering with God about study and deep prayer went a little like this …
Dear God, Good morning! So look – here’s the thing -
I hate to cut our time short but I’m just so groggy and you know how I am when I am groggy!
But I know you’re there – all the time,
so let’s carve out some time later – whatcha say?
You wanna chat after breakfast?
Yeah – wow – that sounds great but I have to get dressed and rush to work and you know…that’s important and all…
No, the drive time won’t really work either – I have a few calls to make, plus you know how irritated I get in traffic!
You don’t like me when I’m irritated.
We’ve talked about that a few times.
How about lunch?
I’ll try to get away and we can chat then? Great.
Yeah – so – sorry about missing you at lunch.
I’m so glad you’re still there though.
You know – the Psalm 139 thing.
Look – this day is just getting away from me.
How ’bout we chat and study right before bed?
Ugh – we’re just gonna have to skip it today – sorry about that! But I was really good yesterday, that counts extra, right?
Let’s try again in the morning.
I would be lying if I said I’ve completely avoided slipping into this old pattern.
Fortunately, slowly over time, I have improved a tremendous amount and it’s actually gotten incredibly easier and far more rewarding as I have matured.
But I have a long way to go if I am to be like the psalmist in verse 18.
After all, it’s easy to read , He’ll be there – always, forever.
And, if he’s there – always and forever – surely He can wait, right?