Today as I watched the morning come in my window and the stars where saying their final goodbyes to the day, my heart was somewhat overwhelmed with recent realities of life and I literally just laid down my head and cried. Our heavenly Father seems so close in the early morning hours and it comforts me to be with Him in this special time of the night watches just before daybreak. When I can be still and listen — my manna for this day.
In the Bible we are reminded of the value of seeking the Lord in the early hours as referenced in
New American Standard Bible
In the early morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went away to a secluded place, and was praying there.
Jesus was an early riser to seek the Lord in prayer as mentioned over and over in a secluded place.
Our Heavenly Father knew we need the quiet and He placed Jesus as and example of prayer and intimacy with Him for the beginning of the day. This so resonates with me to get up and do the Jeremiah 33:3 thing– seek me and you will find me and I will show you secret and amazing things.
So here I am feeling very brokenhearted for a myriad of reasons: the very traumatized children I am working with and for in the ministry I lead ( Yahweh Center Children’s Village http://www.yahwehcenter.org
Lamenting in particular for a child whose family of origin for four generations has practiced prostitution and how this sweet boy with is fighting such intense emotions that he has to have a nap to renew his strength. Yet oh how this child can sing and his face all aglow as he broke free from his activity to pick a dandelion and give it to me. Bravely in a praise mode at that moment.
A true sacrifice of praise.
Then there is my mother in law, Verda who calmly called my husband to tell him that the Doctor has told her there is not much time and maybe she should consider Hospice. She is gently in a ” joyful ” place witnessing serenely because the joy of the Lord is her strength. ( Nehemiah 8: 10 )
One lady, I admire so much dear Sue who is such an inspiring encourager to others although she has many physical challenges as her daily life, she graces all who come to know her through the joy she humbly exudes in her daily walk in Christ. Her joy is a ” sacrifice of praise”. She writes me a lovely email and in it barely mentions surgery today.
The faces of my staff who learned yesterday that our paychecks are going to be held up because of delays in our payment for our professional treatment work.. with one sending me an email to tell me that she and one of the nurses in our psychiatric unit made banners and had the children singing for God inhabits the praises of His people…
My mentor, Shirley who is in so much pain from physical afflictions that it could be a blog in itself .. witnessing, encouraging others with joy! She demonstrates the multiplication of encouragement.
All these things lifted up for desperate prayer.
This testimony of ” joy” in the Lord begins to lift my spirits and before long by reading His word and with remeberance of the power of the testimony of His children whose circumstances seem anything of joy…. my heart and spirit are lifted and the joy of the Lord over takes all the emotions and suddenly the joy of the Lord is my strength, and it is overflowing.
I go down and put on the coffee turning on my local Christian radio hearing His name lifted up in praise and turn to see the kitchen filled with light.
So thankful to experience this mystery of His inexplicable joy!