I feel personally attacked by the brightness of the laptop this morning. If you could call it morning. I’ve been awake for about an hour, and it’s still only 4:30. An hour before I’d choose to be awake. I’ve made lists, mentally written a speech for my sister’s wedding, prayed for various people on my heart, and begged God for sleep. All I could hear was “write”. I kindly explained that I didn’t want to right now, that sleep was more important for the day ahead. But here I am.
God tells us what we need to do. Sometimes it’s in the quiet urgings at 4am. Sometimes it’s through Scripture; other times through a sermon or Sunday School lesson. Sometimes He connects life’s frustrations or struggles to a bigger picture. A lot of times He teaches us through children.
I’m learning that in kindergarten, you have to explain everything. EVERYTHING. How to get in line, how to sit on the carpet, how to hold a pencil, when it’s okay to ask to get water, how to exit the building for a fire drill, what to do in the cafeteria line, how to wash your hands. Everything. I get so frustrated when I lose control of my class, but 9 times out of 10, it’s because they don’t know what I expected of them. Even when I’ve told them, they may not understand, or they don’t yet have the self-control to practice what I’ve taught.
It hit me hard the other day that God is the absolute best teacher. He has told us what to do. Micah 6:8 says “Mankind, He has told each of you what is good and what it is the Lord requires of you: to act justly, to love faithfulness, and to walk humbly with your God.” (CSB) We have the rubric; we know how to live a life worthy of glorifying God, yet we choose to act like clueless kindergarteners. Most definitely without justice, faith, or humility. I let out a sigh of frustration when He beckons me to spend time with Him in the morning, knowing that He will sustain my body and my energy through the day. He has shown me what is good, and I still want something else.
As a human, I am irritated when things don’t go my way, in my little circle of influence. God is in charge of the whole world, and literally no one is doing exactly what He wants them to do at every moment of the day. Yet He chooses to love us, to pursue us, and to wake us up the next morning to do it all over again. He doesn’t say “I told you how to do this yesterday, why can’t you get it today?” or “We’ve been through this 34 times already, you can do it the correct way!” We run, He pulls us back. We cling to the meaningless and He continues to show us the meaningful. In a devastatingly beautiful analogy in Hosea, God shows us just how far He will go to bring us close to Him. “I will take you to be my wife forever. I will take you to be my wife in righteousness, justice, love, and compassion. I will take you to be my wife in faithfulness, and you will know the Lord.” (Hosea 2:19-20)
God loves us. I tell my students every day that I love them- but I can’t come close to the love He has for us. They get so exasperated when I correct them and when I don’t let them do anything and everything they want to do. I laugh or, more often, get a little exasperated myself, but then I think of my arguing this morning and see I’m no different. I reject the best for the good, without asking “What does God want to show me in this?”
He knows how precious my time is to me. I value each minute. If a class is supposed to be over at a certain time, I expect it to be over at that time. If I’m meeting someone, I expect her to be there on time. If my alarm goes off at 5:30, I don’t want to wake up before it. He knows that because He made me, and He understands my quirks, preferences, and shortcomings. He also knows when I need more time with Him than with my pillow.
So there’s my early morning thoughts. God called me out of bed because someone needed to read it. That, or He knows I have a whopper of a day ahead. Prayers are much appreciated! I hope you read this much later than I wrote it. Happy Tuesday.