I have been praying the last week or so that God would give me wisdom on our school routine and our very long days. Reaching far into the afternoons, our homeschooling has been more time consuming than ever before. If this is the way it’s supposed to be, then I prayed God would give me strength, but I needed wisdom first to see if there was something amiss. Something just didn’t feel right to me and I didn’t know what it was.
As I was wearily readied the workboxes after 10:00 last night, I knew there had to be a better way to manage my time. But I really didn’t see where I’d gone wrong. Our busy day turned into a busy evening with friends and a movie to finish watching, and dragging myself to bed without a moment to even relax didn’t feel good. That’s when the Lord plopped a thought into my mind: I wasn’t giving Him the firstfruits of my time.
I knew it was a thought from the Lord, as I was too tired to even conjure up a cohesive sentence. So as I crawled into bed, attempting to unravel my mind in a book, I asked the Lord to wake me early if He wanted me to give Him the first of my day. Even though this was an answer to prayer for wisdom, it tired me to think of getting even less sleep.
A bad dream was enough to wake me for the day. But the reality of a beautiful sunrise just starting to peek over the mountains beckoned me to rise and and spend time with my Lord. Freshly brewed coffee in hand, I flipped through my Bible hoping it would flip on the switch of my brain.
I found myself in Proverbs 3 reading about firstfruits: “Honor the LORD with your possessions, And with the firstfruits of all your increase; So your barns will be filled with plenty, And your vats will overflow with new wine.” Although these verses are talking about physical possessions, I believe that my time is also something which I possess. To a good degree like money, it is within my control to decide how its spent.
Although I have been spending time with the Lord, He wasn’t getting the first of it or the best of it. I had really grown away from trying to have time first thing in the morning set apart for prayer and my Bible. Pregancy, babies, nursing, long days–many reasons for the break in habit. I prayed while I rode my exercise bike, with many interruptions. I read my Bible while I had breakfast, also with much distraction circulating in my midst. I realized that although God gave me the grace to meet with Him whenever, I wasn’t making Him feel very important to me. Rather I was scheduling Him into my tightly timed day of busyness.
I backtracked to Proverbs 3:1 one which read, “My (daughter), do not forget my law, But let your heart keep my commands; For length of days and long life And peace they will add to you.” The words leapt off the page at me. Length of days. I had never read it like I did this morning. And maybe some theological scholar will set me straight, but the Holy Spirit inspired me to put hope in having this added to my life. I sure felt like I needed longer days to accomplish all that I had to do. And peace. I’m clinging to this hope, but need to first remember my part: keep the truths of the Lord and His commands in my heart.
As I continued to read more verses about firstfruits and seeking the Lord first (Mathew 6:33), children trickled out from their sleep and joined the table. I decided to throw on a sweater and head outside for a time to pray. It didn’t last long and aside from seeing the rarely seen Lesser Goldfinch (which I love to see) nothing miraculous happened. I just prayed.
My 4 year old daughter starts many prayers with “I pray that Mom won’t die.” And while its sweet and a sign that she would hate for her mommy to depart this world, sometimes I quietly pray to myself that “mommy would die….to herself.” That my flesh or my desire for things apart from the Lord’s will would be laid down. Today it felt like I laid down my life on an altar of sorts. I gave the Lord my morning time. I devoted myself to seeking Him out first. And that’s all the difference a day needs.
“Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33