Reading with the Pastor
John 3, and 1 John 1, and Psalm 143
Last night was a long night. I went to bed early because I had an appointment for breakfast. But it turned out that the Sandman was not visiting the Schoenleber household. I tossed and turned, watched the clock climb through the hours with minutes of sleep between views of red letters on my approaching alarm. Finally, giving up around 5:20 AM, I admitted defeat and assumed God wanted my attention.
Finally, giving up around 5:20 AM, I admitted defeat and assumed God wanted my attention.
He had it.
So I stopped trying to squeeze my eyes shut and slid to the floor in surrender and prayer.
Go to the bathroom sink and splash water on my face.
Turn the light on and prop up the pillows in my bed.
Grab my Bible and thank God for a sleepless night and the opportunity to read and meditate with out distraction.
And so, at approximately 5:30 AM I opened to John 3 and 1 John 1 and finally worked my way to Psalm 143. How many times have I read Psalm 143 over the last 43 years since first I believed? A hundred? A hundred and fifty?
And yet, at 5:50 AM in the morning, I see new things. Things I have never seen before. Things that were always there but to which I was blind. Sometimes, God only reveals His will slowly. Sometimes He reserves giving insight only after all our distractions have been removed. Sometimes He wants to prepare the soil of our heart to receive the seed of His word.
So what did I see? Are you sure you are prepared to hear?
Are you undistracted? By your phone, your TV, your Kindle, your refrigerator, your x-box, your 21st-century American tendency to attempt to multi-task in every waking moment? Is your heart prepared to hear? Is your heart ready to hear from God??
For me, sleeplesness coupled with silence and prayer aided my insight into the text. I don’t know what your process might be. I’m not going to tell you what I saw partly because I’m still processing what it all means and how I am to live in light of it. But I can tell you this, I don’t regret the sleepless night.
But whatever God does, to get your attention and force you to give undivided focus to His word, you won’t regret it either.