And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed. -Mark 1:35 (KJV)
I have been dealing with a head cold which doesn’t want to go away. One round of antibiotics didn’t quite get rid of it and this lingering sinus stuff which creates runny nose, sore throat, and coughing appears to be hanging on. One of my sons was telling me about his theory of how over the counter cold medicines only make the symptoms last longer. His advice is to stay hydrated, exercise, take vitamins, and rest. In other words, tough it out (or suck it up, if you prefer a harsher idiom). Armed with my son’s advice I have been “toughing it out” and coping with these nagging symptoms the best as I can.
The latter part about getting rest proved to be problematic last night. I woke up this morning around 3:30 with my head seriously congested and after trying in vain for around 15 minutes to go back to sleep finally got up. Our two dogs, Ada and Leon, watched me as I wandered around the kitchen, blowing my nose and sipping strong coffee, and I got the impression from their questioning looks that 3:45 AM was a little too early even for them. Dogs are wonderfully adaptive creatures however, and after I sat down on the couch in the glow of the Christmas tree lights they settled into a comfortable doze beside me. It was around then it occurred to me how the Lord may have waked me up for a reason. Perhaps there was something in my heart which I needed to hand over to God. As I began to pray and meditate on God’s Word I was flooded with a wonderful peace. My stuffy head was soon forgotten in the blessed communion which was experienced with my Lord.
These days I get up most mornings around 5:00 AM, yet this morning, thanks to my head cold, I was given an extended time to pray and seek the Lord. What followed was a spiritual strengthening which I desperately needed. Isn’t it something how we will make time for so many pursuits, yet the pursuit of God is often neglected? This is even more common during these hectic days of Christmas dinners, shopping, family gatherings, and church events. We seem to be able to find time to do just about everything except spend extended time with the Lord. When I have a day where I neglect my prayer time I imagine Christ sitting alone somewhere, a sad look on His face, waiting disappointedly because I failed to show up. He sighs heavily and says, “Dan has stood me up again. Oh well, maybe he will show up tomorrow and we will have that talk I’ve been looking forward to.”
Yes, my friends, it’s that personal. I am so often too busy to spend time with the Lord, yet He is never too busy to spend time with me. What about you? When was the last time you laid aside your hectic schedule, just for a little while, and communed with Christ? Begin to observe this vital discipline each day and it will make all the difference in your life.
Take time to meet with the Lord. He will be waiting for you.