Each morning I rise around 4 am, actually it’s more like 340, to go to my quiet corner of the house to read my Bible, to pray and journal. Some mornings I feel half asleep and half awake, I pray “Lord, give me the strength” and I crawl out of bed and head to that place, turn on the table lamp and begin my daily ritual. I know, the word ritual, just doesn’t seem right when I write it either. That’s what some would say I do, a ritual. However, I’d like to call it a part of my daily discipline. I want the time I spend with God each day to be a natural part of what I do; you know? Like some just get out of bed and head straight to the coffee pot, I want to head straight to meet Jesus.
I’d like to call it a part of my daily discipline. I want the time I spend with God each day to be a natural part of what I do; you know? Like some just get out of bed and head straight to the coffee pot, I want to head straight to meet Jesus. I won’t lie, some days I read the scriptures and tell God, “I got absolutely nothing out of that” and on other days, like this one, I can’t seem to put my Bible down.
This morning I was continuing my read of Isaiah when I came across a scripture that hit me like a ton of bricks. It hit me because it was a scripture I had memorized at a young age. The minute I began reading Isaiah 54:6, “We are, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us to our own way, and the Lord has laid upon Him the sins of us all.” I immediately remembered the scripture and stopped to think about it. Instead of dissecting it, I found myself going back looking for scriptures I learned years ago and seemingly never used them anymore. I went searching and writing them down as I found them. By the time I had finished with this little exercise, I had written down eight scriptures. I found myself mulling over each scripture and saying them to myself, affirming each scripture as I spoke them.
You may say, “so what?” I know, right? I have no idea why I became obsessed with doing that this morning. As I sat to write this blog, I did hear myself say, “do you remember?” Do I remember what? Is the question really, do I remember where God has brought me from? Yes! Do you? Do you ever sit back and think about where you are right now and where you were five years ago, ten years ago, 20 years ago or even longer than that? I sure do. I think about how blessed I am today. When I look back five years, I was recovering from an illness that made life look bleak. When I remember ten years ago, I had just evolved from a work situation that had me questioning my competence and my potential. When I recall 20 years ago, I had gone back to school to complete an MBA.
Do you ever sit back and think about where you are right now and where you were 5 years ago, 10 years ago, 20 years ago or even longer than that? I sure do. I think about how blessed I am today. When I look back 5 years, I was recovering from an illness that made life look bleak. When I remember 10 years ago, I had just evolved from a work situation that had me questioning my competence and my potential. When I recall 20 years ago, I had gone back to school to complete an MBA. Yes, I was shocked to realize that one too!
There is one thing that remained constant over the years, my faith. Through the ups and downs; through the joys and pain; and through the accomplishments and disappointments, the discipline of reading my Bible, remembering scripture, and drawing on it in times of happiness and in times of sadness, has sustained me. The joy of the Lord has truly been my strength.
Today, I have a wonderful life. In fact, when I think of my life in general, I have had a wonderfully blessed and abundant life. God has been good. I would have never imagined some of the things I have accomplished and lived. Not for a girl like me; that little girl from New York, whose mom died so young. The girl who was raised by Pentecostal grandparents in Georgia. Or the one who was not at all popular back in the day. The one who was not counted out, just never considered by anyone other than the people in the little church in Georgia. Her? Who would have thought this would be my life?
Anyway, don’t let anyone talk you out of living your dreams or doing what God has placed inside of you. That includes you not talking yourself out of it either. Also, you should think about starting the discipline of Bible reading and prayer each day too. I bet you will one day look back, remember, and be glad you did.
I will close with Isaiah 43:19, “See, I am doing a new thing, as it springs up, can you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.“