Are you waking this morning with a lackluster because of yesterday's stress?
Are you awake to the day, but muted to the possibilities?
Are you up and at 'em, but uninspired?
Are you tired?
Or are you Focused. Driven. Ready.
Are you busy with the day's to do list and unaware of God's blessing, calling or purpose for your day.
If you are any of these places, or a multitude of others - remember, God intends to send you out today REFRESHED and RENEWED.
Waking up inspired and purposed each day is something I crave, but so often I forget that this is also something God longs to give each morning. I am reminded when I wake up and spend time with Him, or wake up in prayer. When HE is my first intention. My first priority. My first encounter. When He sets the tone for the next 24 hours.
I can tell a huge difference in my day when I wake to have #timewithGod or the days I sleep in and rush through to fit it in amidst the demands of the day.
God's grace gives us our portion for the day, what we will need for the joyous and tough moments we will face. I read recently that Jesus, having become man himself, is able to teach us how, in the midst of human experiences (hurts, frustrations, loneliness, heartache, etc) to rise above the natural tendencies (stress, worry, self-pity, depression, resentment, etc). He waits for us each morning with a gracious portion of Himself to carry us through the day.
My heart and my flesh may fail me, but God is the strength of my heart, my portion forever. - Psalm 73:26
With this in mind I recalled a memory from high school. Freshman year. My bible teacher challenged us each week to share some way or something that allowed us to see evidence of God in the world around us. I loved this part of the class because it challenged me to see more than just the natural occurrences of the world, our relationships, and our part in it all.
One morning I walked outside, noticing the dew. I remember wondering - what was the purpose of dew? (not that I did not know the answer - but probably because I had to walk through it and I would imagine I was less than thrilled) That curiosity (complaining) ended in recognizing a similarity in my relationship with the Lord that would stick with me for the next 20+ years. A comparison that allowed me to see God in the world around us.
Dew: tiny drops of water that form on cool surfaces at night, when atmospheric vapor condenses. Pure. Delicate. A refreshing quality. Visible in the morning sun.
Dew revives and nourishes whatever living thing it lands on. It doesn’t always catch our attention. Never really causes damage. It is gentle, but dependable.
That morning, staring at each individual blade of grass, glistening in the morning sun, I realized my quiet times were much the same. A moment. A blessing. A refreshing layer of nourishment for my spirit. A daily reviving of my soul. It doesn’t always catch my attention. Never causes damage. It is gentle, but dependable.
I also began to realize that just as the plants have to absorb the dew for it to be beneficial to the plant, I too play a part in God's daily "dew" each morning. I have to pay attention in order to absorb what the Holy Spirit is teaching me. I have to accept. Focus. Open my heart and soften my spirit.
In the Bible, dew is mentioned numerous times. Dew is often connected to wisdom, knowledge, and discernment - many times directly connected to heaven. Other times dew is symbolic – for teaching, correction, encouragement, clarity, provision, and nourishment.
The Lord by wisdom founded the earth; by understanding He established the heavens; by His knowledge the deeps broke open, and the clouds drop down the dew. -Psalm 3:19-20
In moments where we are deeply pained, God is present, His “dew” is sustaining.
In moments where we have peace, God is reliable, His “dew” is refreshing.
In moments where we are distracted, God is faithful, His “dew” is certain.
But also, in moments we disregard or continually disobey, dew can be withheld:
This is the sad thing about dew - that condensation can be avoided all together and the plants can miss out on the daily refreshment provided in its presence. Condensation can be avoided in two ways:
By circulating the air or
removing the moisture
In the same way, you can avoid God’s daily nourishment.
You can circulate yourself – by staying busy with constant tasks and to do lists.
You can eliminate the time you spend with God and in His word.
Either way you lose out on the benefit of God’s refreshing “dew.” If we do not awaken to see, absorb and accept God’s gift of “dew” – we will miss out. Either by our own distraction, or because He chooses to withhold, as He did at times in the bible. (1 King 17:1 or Haggai 1:10-11)
Months ago, I was reading in Haggai. I was so struck by a single verse.
“Is it a time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses while this house [the Temple] lies in ruins?” – Haggai 1:4
Haggai was a prophet who delivered a warning because the Temple was not being rebuilt. The Temple was allowed to lay in ruins, and as result the Lord withheld the dew of heaven. Without the Lords blessing of dew, the earth was not productive, and the people were busying themselves, but their efforts were in vain.
Consider the application for us today. Consider their “paneled houses” to be our everyday lives - our earthly focus, comforts, routines, struggles, the busyness.
Likewise, consider “this house” (which was the temple) to be our hearts, our relationship with God, our spiritual lives, and ministry.
Is it time for you to busy yourselves with your own earthly desires while your relationship with God lies in ruins?
This thought is just as convicting now as it was 7 months ago. There is a difference between obedient busy and distracted busy. God can work in and through our obedience, but He will remain neglected in our distraction. Many of us are busy – some of us with generous and giving tasks – but if those tasks are not what God is leading us to do or if they are done with selfish and prideful intent – we are engaged in a distracted form of busy.
We also neglect our relationship with God to focus on our comforts and routine. I am very guilty of this. I struggle to foster my relationship with God when it encroaches on my comfort or routine.
When do you find yourself more focused on your "paneled house" rather than "God’s temple?"
Those things are not bad, as long as your relationship with God is intact and taken care of. It is not one or the other, it is more about keeping our priorities in line, so we are fully engaged and in tune to absorb His rich dew each morning.
So - meet Him in the crisp morning air. Let his vision bring vibrancy to your lackluster. Let His word bring a voice to the endless possibilities of the day. Let His purpose inspire you. Let His direction allow you to rest in comfort. Let Him render your focus, govern your drive, and give you discernment for your overwhelming to-do-list.