Friday, December 10, 2010

Our Morning Cry

 Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: 
and he shall hear my voice.
 Psalm 55:17

The subject of rising early is one that has been on my heart many times over since becoming a mom 13 years ago.  Perhaps it is because after becoming a mother, life got a little harder, a little more hectic and often my quiet time with the Lord would be sporadic, if it took place at all. 
I am not a morning person by nature.  Even as a child, I can remember being home for the summer on school break and sleeping till 10 and 11am.  It seems to me that I require more sleep than is considered 'normal' in order to function and I have often used that excuse for my own laziness. 
I have come to the conclusion that my inability to rise early isn't so much about my physical needs but about a spiritual problem.  How can I say that?  Because I have seen very clearly a pattern of behavior that comes with sleeping in or sleeping until my children arise.  Some things I've observed are:
  • My quiet time with the Lord is often neglected in a rush to get 'back on schedule'
  • My spirit is immediately in turmoil over all that I have to get done, that I should have gotten done, and now have to make up for lost time.
  • Because I'm not a 'morning person', by the time I am fully away from sleeping late, it is the afternoon!
So, with all this in mind, I began to study what the Bible has to say about early rising, and ~wow~, it has a lot to say. Shall we look together?

Love not sleep, lest thou come to poverty;
open thine eyes, and thou shalt be satisfied with bread. 
Proverbs 20:13
The Bible is a spiritual book and must be looked at through more than our natural eyes.  On the surface, the instruction here is very clear - don't love your sleep or you'll come to poverty.  Put on our spiritual specs and there is a whole lot more there!  'Bread' in the Word of God is a picture of the Bible and how our spiritual souls are fed.  God is telling us that if we love our sleep, we'll be spiritually poor. I believe God knew that in the rush of our everyday lives, if we didn't take time to rise early and spend time in His Word, we'd neglect it. In neglecting it, we won't be fed and we will be spiritually poverty stricken.  Proverbs 6:9-11 reiterates this principle.

Being a homeschool mom has many, many benefits but it does have a few drawbacks.  When you punch a time clock and answer to a boss and a company, there is a lot of motivation built in to getting up on time and out the door!  But homeschool moms have the convenience of setting our own hours and we don't have someone standing over us, telling us what our deadlines are and when we have to do this or that.  

Proverbs 6:6-8  Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: 7: Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, 8: Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest. 
 
God was kind enough to give us an example - the ant.  Those tiny little creatures have no ruler and yet they do their jobs when they are needed to be done ~ on time.  If little 'ol ants can get out of their beds ~smile~ and get their work done, how much more can we expect of ourselves?
 
Let's look at some practical examples:
Where else would we start but in Proverbs 31?  Verse 15 says:  She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.   We know that in the Jewish calendar, 'night' would be before 6am when their 'day' started. For us, it would be before midnight as our new 'day' starts at 12:01am.  So, I don't believe that the Bible is trying to tell us a specific time to get up but rather a character trait. The virtuous woman was not lazy.  She rose before the days activities had begun and got to work!

Isaiah 56:10 His watchmen are blind: they are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber.
I know that the watchman refers to the pastor but if you remember, Titus 2 says that the woman is to be the keeper at home.  That work 'keeper' means to watch over; to guard.  So, we could easily apply the verse in Isaiah to the mother or keeper at home.    Rest is necessary for the body but being a sluggard does not make for a very good watchman!
 
Guess when the enemy of our soul likes to attack?  When we're asleep!  Matthew 13: 25 But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. 
 
** And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep...**     Romans 13:11

Are you struggling with rising early?
Ask yourself:
  • Is there are physical need that is not being met?  Are you going to bed early enough? 
  • Are you taking care of your temple by eating right? Exercising? Taking a good multivitamin?
  • Have you asked God for the victory?  I John 4:4 ...greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.
You might say...."my sleeping in isn't causing me any trouble".  May I ask, "Is your sleep....."
  • Interfering with your quiet time with the Lord?
  • Leaving you feeling perpetually behind?
  • Causing you to worry about who might stop by and see that you've just gotten out of bed?
  • More than a healthy person really needs?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, perhaps you need to ask the Lord what he thinks of your slumbering habits. After all, this is between you and Him.
Some suggestions for getting up earlier:
  • Move your wake-up time back by 15 minutes a day for the first week and then increase it 15 minutes each subsequent week.  Unless of course you've been staying in bed till late morning/early afternoon and then I would say you need to take a bit more drastic measures and start rising around 9am the first week and move back from there.
  • Set your alarm away  from your bed!  You will have to get out of bed to shut it off :)
  • go make some coffee or tea while you're trying to wake up.
  • Sit up for at least 15 minutes before returning to bed. I find this to be my biggest help.  If I will force myself to sit up for at least 15 minutes, then my desire to lay back down decreases dramatically. 
Most importantly of all:

Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him;
and he shall bring it to pass.  
Proverbs 37:5

If you will commit to rising early to the glory of God, HE will help you accomplish it!
God bless you!
 

© Adorning Grace 2010

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