There's the faintest light behind the shades pulled down over my bedroom windows. Dawn. I open an eye and see the time. The alarm won't go off for another hour, but now that sleep has been disturbed, I can't coax it to return. I roll over and hug my pillow, desperate to get a few more moments of rest, but a million things begin to invade my mind. This is not how I want to start my day. Lord, quiet my thoughts. I begin to pray. Instead of complaining about sleep lost, I try to be thankful that I have awakened to another day, safe in my clean bed and warm house. I praise God for my senses that allowed me to view the light, hear the faint ticking of the clock, smell the wood burning in the fireplace of a neighbor's home, feel the softness of my cat's fur as she rubs her head under my chin, hoping to rouse me so I'll feed her. What else am I thankful for? I think about heading downstairs to heat the water for a cup of tea. I'll pull a bowl out of the cabinet and fill it with Cherrios, slice a banana over it, and add some milk. Thank you Lord that I have a kitchen stocked with my choice of cereal, fresh fruit and milk...that I can turn on a tap to fill my kettle for tea. How many of my neighbors have enough food on their table? How many in this world have the luxury of walking into a store with dozens upon dozens of options just for their cereal bowl? Or a dozen choices of milk? How many will have to walk miles to a well for water instead of descending down a flight of stairs? And if I choose not to drink it from the tap, I can just open up a bottle because I've chosen to pay for what is essentially free! How silly is that?
My mind is no longer on sleep. I begin to think of friends who are going through difficult times. With their kids. Their spouses. Their jobs. Their lack of jobs. Their health. So many to pray for, how can I fit them all in?
Now I'm up, making that breakfast I thought about. I by-pass the computer without hesitation and put my mug and bowl on a tray table as I curl up on the couch with my devotional and Bible. "Come to Me and rest. I am all about you, to bless and restore. Breathe Me in with each breath." Today's devotional is based on Matthew 11:28 "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest."
I thought rest would come with sleep, but true rest is here. In His Word. At His feet. Laying my burdens down before the day even begins. Being in His presence shows me clearly how I am blessed. Beginning my day with thanksgiving has chased away the doubts. He has been faithful to provide. He has a track record that is perfect. He will be faithful going forward. Asking Him to meet the needs of others has taken my mind off of me. THIS is how I want my day to begin. Fully focused on Him. I read on in my devotional "Lift up empty hands of faith to receive My precious Presence. Light, Life, Joy, and Peace flow freely through this gift. When your focus turns away from Me, you grasp for other things. You drop the glowing gift of My Presence as you reach for lifeless ashes. Return to Me; regain My Presence." Amen