Sunday, November 9, 2008

In the Morning

“Cause me to hear thy loving-kindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee.”  (Psalm 143:8)

         King David, the man “after God’s own heart,” offers to you and me a few insights on the important subject of morning devotions. As it turns out, it involves two things: We hear from God (“Cause me to hear thy loving-kindness”); and God hears from us (“I lift up my soul unto thee”). In my own case, it seems the former outweighs the latter. I think, first of all, it is because when I lift my heart to God in the morning, it marks the beginning of a dialogue that continues throughout the day. Then, too, although prayer may be an ongoing pursuit, unhindered time in the Word of God is not always as easy to find, once the day’s activities have begun.

         This time—the morning—is the time for concentrated contact. It’s as if the two of us (the Lord and I) were walking together (or “abiding,” as the apostle John calls it in chapter fifteen of his Gospel); but then we stop momentarily to speak face to face (2 Cor. 3:18), as when Samuel told Saul, “Stand still a while, that I may shew thee the word of God.” This is the point in our relationship when I am most often assured of His “loving-kindness,” and when His Spirit bears witness that I am His. This is also the time when I am most apt to find out “the way wherein I should walk.” Here is when the answers I need begin to crystallize in my mind, especially for those questionable things that call for a personal audience with the Father.

         The pivotal words in the verse are these, I think: “In thee do I trust.” We will only take this morning appointment with God seriously and give it the priority it deserves, if all our trust is in Him. If we are fairly sure we can handle life on our own, God’s input will not seem overly vital. On the other hand, if you, like I, have lived long enough to see just how incapable we humans are, these morning moments with the Master will have become not a ritual, but a full-blown reality                                  

                                 THE SECRET

  I met God in the morning, when the day was at its best;

  And His presence came like sunrise, like a glory in my breast.

  All day long His presence lingered; all day long it stayed with me.

  And we sailed in perfect calmness o’er a very troubled sea.

  Other ships were blown and battered; other ships were sore distressed;

  But the winds that seemed to drive them brought to us a peace and rest.

  Then I thought of other mornings with a keen remorse of mind;

  When I too had loosed the moorings with His presence left behind.

  So I think I know the secret learned from many a troubled way;

  You must meet God in the morning if you want Him through the day.

                                              -- Ralph Spaulding Cushman

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