Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Am I A Soldier Of The Cross"1 (Lyrics)
Psalm 51:8,17-19 – Behold, you desire true sincerity; and secretly you teach me wisdom. Lord, you will open my lips; and my mouth will proclaim your praise. For you do not desire sacrifice or I would give it; a burnt offering you would not accept. My sacrifice, O God, is a contrite spirit; a contrite, humbled heart, O God, you will not scorn. (NABRE)
We all have triggers. A cubicle adjacent to my work area was kept intentionally unkempt. It became increasingly overgrown with open boxes, to the point that it would encumber my own workspace. Some would question me about it as if it were my mess! It was an embarrassment. My area, by contrast, was always neat and representative of a professional work space. Overnight, the pile of boxes would grow and encroach even closer upon my area. Complaining would do no good, since the culprits were protected. Their protection provided license for a host of other behaviours and actions. They had a sense of power that gave people the impression that they were invincible.
Once these boxes became an obvious fire hazard, a colleague complained. Though I was initially blamed for complaining, I was cleared. Within minutes, months of unsightly and unused boxes were removed. Genuine friends and my pre-dawn prayer time delivered me.
Isaiah 50:4-8a – The Lord God has given me a well-trained tongue, that I might know how to answer the weary a word that will waken them. Morning after morning he wakens my ear to hear as disciples do; the Lord God opened my ear; I did not refuse, did not turn away. I gave my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who tore out my beard; my face I did not hide from insults and spitting. The Lord is my help, therefore I am not disgraced; therefore I have set my face like flint, knowing that I shall not be put to shame. He who declares my innocence is near. (NABRE)
The pre-dawn is a favourite portion of my day. During these silent minutes, the calm presence of God enters my mind and spirit without distractions. The Lord's pre-dawn voice is a welcoming sound during our conversation. My rested mind experiences a heightened awareness and receptivity as we commune together. Sometimes, I return to a chamomile/lavender-like sleep, feeling bodily relaxed and refreshed. Upon rising, I feel fully awake and motivated to embrace my day.
Our pre-dawn lessons reassure and carry us through the petty trials of life. God is aware of our trials, and in His time, not ours, He will provide us comfort.
Prayer: Dear Lord, help us to experience that communion and awareness of Your presence every day and every moment when we pray. May we journey with You from the pre-dawn and take this strength with us. Dear Lord, help us to maintain that wonderful pre-dawn connectedness throughout our day. Help us to listen to Your voice as we are daily challenged. Whenever we encounter those who are counterproductive to harmony, replace their negativity with opportunities reflective of Your love. Your guidance is available all through the night. As we listen to You in the dark, guide us upon each dawn's light. Amen.