This morning as I sat outside with my Savior I asked for His forgiveness. You see I haven’t sat outside with Him in the early morning hours since Easter morning. I have missed Him.
I watched a small patch of light in the cloudy morning sky as I wrote my prayer out to Him. My heart lifted in a song of praise and I longed for Him. As my heart sang, “Holy, holy, holy… Lord God Almighty, early in the morning my song shall rise to Thee. Holy, holy, holy… merciful and mighty, God in three persons blessed Trinity…” I remembered a section I read in Francis Chan’s Crazy Love yesterday.
Francis asked a question in the book. He asked you to consider if you could have heaven, with no sickness, and all the friends you ever had on earth, and all the food you ever liked, and all the leisure activities you ever enjoyed, and all the natural beauties you ever saw, all the physical pleasures you ever tasted, and no human conflict or any natural disasters, could you be satisfied with heaven, if Christ was not there?
I read that and when I read “if Christ was not there” my heart stopped. No, no Christ? No Jesus? It’s not heaven without Him! And suddenly I realized that heaven is not a place… heaven is a Person. There is no heaven apart from Jesus. I would rather just cease to exist than to live for all eternity with no Christ.
He is the substance. Apart from Him all else is a mirage. It’s just empty and hollow and pointless. It all loses it’s flavor when you remove Christ… there is no satisfaction apart from being satisfied in and with Him. Oh how I love Him!
I watch the sky for Him ever day. I long for His return… I really do. I would be lying to you if I tried to downplay my desire for Him. There are days that I downright pine for Him, begging His return, or whispering my wish to hear Him call my name… to call me to Himself. Then I remember that I am already with Him because He is with me… always.
So I went outside to sit with Him and seek His face, to ask His forgiveness for these missed morning moments… and my Jesus whispered to my heart. I love His sweet confirmation of hearing my prayer.
You see for the past several years I have had three to four hours every morning to just spend with my God. I have coveted this time with Him. I have to admit that I have always been quite jealous for this time. I would be quite irritated with anyone or anything that would disrupt my mornings with my Savior.
Here lately, those mornings have been filled with planning events, planning nursery rotation, planning VBS, figuring out schedules, learning how to work new things. In all this I have feared that I would lose my intimacy with my God and become someone who just did church work.
So I went out this morning to sit before my God and ask for His forgiveness. I went out to ask for His protection against a cold, religious, heart. I don’t want to forsake Him for the sake of “ministry”. He must be first. If He is not first then I become a fake. I don’t want to be fake. I want to be true.
As I sat still before Him I listened for His whisper… As I sat I remembered the story of Joseph. I remembered the dream of Pharaoh and the seven years of plenty and the seven years of famine. I remembered how God had prepared the people for the season of famine because they were obedient to Joseph during the season of plenty.
I believe through this remembrance God assured me that I had been obedient to seek Him and build Him up and I had been faithful to fill the storehouses of my heart up with Him. He gave me those mornings to prepare me for this time, for this season. Now it is time for me to take what’s in my storehouses and use it.
I may not have those three to four hour mornings with Him but on rare occasions for a while… but He is the One that has moved me into this season. He is the One that has prepared me. He is the One that will keep me.
So now… I still sing, “Holy, Holy, Holy… merciful and mighty… God in three persons blessed Trinity”