In a previous blog post - Praying for Open Hands - I wrote:
"One of the first things I pray each morning is for God to give me the wisdom to know what to do and what to leave undone. I ask him to help me choose wisely what things to make a priority. I also ask him for grace to let go of things I will not be able to accomplish.
"As I pray, I picture an open hand, palm up. My prayer is for God to put into my open hand the tasks He wants me to work on, and for Him to remove from my hand those things that are not his will for me that day. I also pray that I will not be tight-fisted - that I will not insist on MY ToDo list while neglecting God's priorities for me."
But this particular morning - today - as I lay considering the day ahead, I felt so blegh. Oh, I have plenty of things I should do today - household chores, writing assignments, yard work, etc. - but I lacked the desire or motivation to climb out of bed and do any of them.
I looked at my open hand, empty palm held out for God to place in it or to remove from it whatever He wanted, and I sighed. "Nah. Just plain empty sounds fine to me...I don't really feeling like doing anything at all."
And then, as I lay there contemplating blowing the entire day in being unproductive, I thought about manna.
I thought about how God instructed his people to go out and gather this gift each morning before the sun melted it all away.
"Then the LORD said to Moses, Behold, I am about to rain bread from heaven for you, and the people shall go out and gather a day's portion every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in my law or not." - Exodus 16:4
God didn't tell the people, "You folks stay snuggled up in your tents while I rain down my blessing of manna all around you." No, He told them to "go out and gather."
The people were completely dependent upon God for each day's provision. They could not, however, enjoy the blessing of God's provision by sitting passively in their tents - they had to get up, grab a basket, go outside, and get to work. God sent the manna. In obedience, the people went out and gathered it.
"Okay! Okay!" I grumbled. "I get the message!" I climbed out from under the blankets in the gray light of predawn, half-heartedly repeating my "open hands" prayer as I shuffled to the bathroom.
After coffee and breakfast and conversation with the college crowd before they left for school, I sat down at the computer to work.
Blegh. Blegh. Blech.
My mind was blank, my eyes already glazed. Not a great way to start a day of writing!
"God, I am up and dressed and ready to work. I am struggling to be obedient, Lord, but mentally, emotionally, I've got nothing. Help me, Lord!"
I blinked at the computer screen like a stoned owl.
I picked up my phone.
A message from a friend.
Two short verses she read this morning and wanted to share:
"To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power, so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ." - 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12
The dam broke. The thick concrete in my head crumbled.
I am ready to write.
3 weeks ago