I have been up really early [think: 4 o’clock hour] the last couple of mornings, working on finishing documents for work and other matters. I told David twice yesterday that I feel less tired when I get up earlier, even though I have less sleep. He looked at me like I was an alien. But I got up this morning at 5:45 and I honestly swear I feel more tired than I did yesterday at 4:00.
It is just after 6:00 now, dark roast coffee is filling the downstairs with its scent, and I have been debating how long I have before their is movement upstairs. I am going to make omelets and other than that, it is just me and this morning and for once there aren’t a million to-do’s.
I am a huge procrastinator… had to ask myself the other day, why is that? Why do I tend to avoid things until they are a huge burden on my mind? David is just the opposite. He has everything dealt with long before he has to. In fact, the other day when he worked from home, I asked him about all over the oversized papers and what he was working on. “Oh I am planning a strategy for the next 12-16 months at work,” he said nonchalantly. I was thinking to myself that if I could only get out one week ahead of myself I would feel like a different person.
I tried telling David that I feel more creative and productive under the pressure of a tight fitting timeline. He looked at me like I was an alien.
Alien or not, I have decided that there are enough stressors in my life I don’t have control over and perhaps I should rein in those that I can.
So yesterday was extremely productive. I asked the Lord for favor and help to deal with financial stressors and I made several calls and I cannot tell you how the Lord did just that! I was stunned at how effortlessly He gave me mercy and good standing to resolve matters.
Last night when I laid down in my bed I asked David to leave the lights on for a little bit. [Note to self: side table lamps] I have been reading and re-reading through the Psalms in the last few weeks so my Bible naturally fell open to the poetry section. Having recently read Psalm 32, it was highlighted and written in, but my eyes fell to verse 19 that had previously been untouched by my green highlighting pencil,
“How great is Your goodness,
Which You have stored up for those who fear You,
Which You have wrought for those who take refuge in You,
Before the sons of men!”
I paused for a moment, imagining God taking the time in tucking away Goodness for those who are His.
I couldn’t help but think about a sermon Pastor Ricks taught sometime earlier this year. He was telling a story on himself… about a time years ago when the church was putting on an Easter drama and some of the cast was unable to make a pivotal practice. Pastor was frustrated and went to God to complain about the lack of commitment (as he perceived it). In response to his groaning the Lord simply said, “Has so and so ever been committed? And what about this person, has she ever been faithful? helpful?” As he told it, this Word from the Lord undid him and he spent the rest of the time confessing to God all of the good each cast member was known for. He likened this to how God is with us. That though the Lord has a sea of forgetfulness (for the things we confess and repent of), the Lord has a long memory when it comes to the good we’ve done in His Name… that the Lord will remember and bring up the fragrance of our obedience before His throne just so He can bless us.
That’s the kind of God who stores up Goodness. With a warming in my heart and a husband falling asleep next to me with the overhead light on, I read just a little further.
“You hide them in the secret place of Your Presence
from the conspiracies of men,
You keep them secretly in a shelter from the strife
Now the ‘them’ in this verse could be those who fear the Lord I realize [English majors give me some leeway, ok?] The picture forming in my mind as the words sunk in though, was of the Lord taking special care to guard and protect the Goodness saved up for His children… that He hides that favor from any place where an enemy would try to sneak in and destroy it… that He even keeps it such a secret that its hard for men to even speak against it- because they don’t know what even to be against…it is that hidden.
I don’t know about all of you, but there have been plenty of times in that recent past where I have felt like enemies of mine have been chipping away at the good in my life. And certainly there have been times when I have wanted to believe the best about the promises of the Lord, but have you noticed how hard that can be when circumstances are yapping in your ear, pointing out how unlikely it all seems?
We hadn’t even gotten married yet when David started talking to me about putting back monies for Cohen to go to college. You don’t save money and leave it in your checking account- you know it will get used. So you put it in another account; you set it aside. Planning, providing and protecting what you’ve planned and provided for… that’s a natural parental function.
In the same way, the Lord, the Abba Father of all who love Him, stores up Goodness for those who are His and then He puts that Provision just out of the reach of those who would dismantle it; just out of earshot of those who would speak lies about it.
“Blessed be the Lord,
For He has made marvelous His lovingkindness to me in a besieged city.”
Doesn’t that “blessed be the Lord” come so naturally after considering how truly MARVELOUS His Kindness is?!? Kindness is particularly precious when it comes unexpectedly…
Yesterday I was calling down a list of people to whom I am indebted. One lady was especially kind while going over current balances and payments with me and so I felt there was a small opening for me to ask for unearned mercy. She paused a moment and then offered me the chance to settle the account for just over 10% of what was owed.
If I could’ve, I would have crawled through the phone line and kissed her.
Kindness when you’re confined, trapped, shut in, encompassed, beset, hemmed in… its even sweeter than kindness when you’ve become accustomed to receiving as much. The Lord shows His Kindness, His Goodness -Kindness and Goodness worth marveling at- by administering it even at times when we’re hemmed in, taking up residence in a besieged city.
If that doesn’t make you love Jesus this morning, I am not sure what will. So, put that in your pocket friends and today while you are out doing all of those normal things you have to do, remember that God sees all and loves to earnestly reward those who seek Him.