“He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in him.” Psalm 40:3 (NIV)
In Please Accept This Invitation, I wrote about how God gently wakes me up in the mornings and how privileged I feel that the creator of the Universe loves me enough to want to spend time together. Lately, I’ve been tired. For a while I was still getting prodded to wake up, but I have to be honest, I wasn’t listening every time. I knew I should get out of bed, and as I thought about obeying, I drifted back to sleep, not waking up again until the alarm went off. That decision was affecting not just me but those around me. I’m a more peaceful person when I have spent quality time with God, alone, then when I try to fit Him in after the whole house is awake. There are too many distractions, too many things on my “to do” list, and too much noise with nowhere to hide.
However, God started giving me another gift. On most days when I would choose to sleep in, I would wake up with a song running through my head. The first few times it occurred, I chalked it up to coincidence. It continued regularly and was usually a different song. I started paying attention to which song it was and what the words meant. More often than not, it was something I needed to hear on that particular day. A personal love song from God to me.
Unfortunately, though, my default button tends to think rules versus relationship. While my husband and I were taking a walk this morning and I was enjoying the beautiful sunrise God gave us, I started to criticize myself. I felt like I’d failed because I hadn’t been getting up early to have my quiet time regularly and wondered if God was displeased. It was then I paid attention to the song still running through my head and I realized freedom.
God and I have grown in our relationship. He isn’t relegated to only 2:00 a.m. or 4:15 a.m. or whatever time He gently asks if I want to wake up and be with Him. If I miss that timeframe, for whatever reason, He and I both know that we’ll meet up a little later. It doesn’t mean I’m sinning if I choose to sleep in some days and instead have our date at 8:00 a.m. or 9:30 a.m.
God showed me through a different song every day that our relationship is more than a time on the clock. I see Him in the different sunrises He surprises me with every morning, the beauty of the deer laying hidden in the dewed-covered grass, a special verse that seems written just for me, or the way my family loves me no matter how many times I mess up. I find, too, that sometimes I’m the one who misses our early morning, unhurried, dates and so when I get that nudge, I’m quick to get up and settle into my special place, anticipating what He wants to tell me.
That’s the beauty of a real relationship. It changes and grows over time. As I learn more about who God is, I learn what makes Him happy and I want to obey. Not because it’s something to check off my “to do” list, but because of love.
Is there something God does specifically with you that lets you know how special you are to Him? I would love to hear how He makes Himself known in your life.
© Cheri Swalwell 2014