Sometimes I write these devotions and reflect on them for a few days before they flutter away, never to be considered again. Yet, there are a few of them that flow back to my mind time and time again. These messages stir up an emotion in me or bring forth an unexpected insight. These don’t float away, but keep reappearing in my thoughts.
So it is with this message. I wrote it last summer, but it reappears often in my mind, and particularly often in the past month. Perhaps it’s the Holy Spirit leading me to share it again, so I am being obedient to the call. Without further ado, here’s what’s been on my mind…
It’s early. It’s Monday. How will you start this new week? With groaning and grumbling? That’s the typical choice. But we don’t have to be typical. No, we can start with a smile of assurance knowing full well where we have placed our trust.
I remember the days of long ago; I meditate on all your works and consider what your hands have done. I spread out my hands to you; I thirst for you like a parched land.
Psalm 143:5-6 – NIVUK
When the morning sun streams in through your window, and your eyes flutter open, what are your first thoughts? When the alarm sounds in the darkness, where does your mind go? To your to do list? To your worries, your fears, your sorrows? Do you groan and hit the snooze button or roll over and bring yourself to life once more?
I confess that I have done all of the above. There have been mornings when my worries overwhelm me with the first light. There are times when I tick off the items on my to do list in a frenzy, my gut clenching with the absolute certainty that I will never get it all done. When my alarm has woken me from a scary dream, I have started the day with a racing heart.
A few years back, I decided that there must be a better way to spend my first few waking moments. What if I direct my first thoughts toward God? Perhaps a word of prayer? Maybe a word of scripture?
That’s when I stumbled across Psalm 143, and there lying in the midst of that beautiful psalm was verse 8: “Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life.” (Psalm 143:8, NIVUK).
Wow! Talk about some words that can really reach out and grabb you! Here is a verse lifted out of God’s Word, and yet when I repeat those words and direct them heavenward, they become a prayer, a prayer for the morning, a prayer to start a new day.
“Let the morning bring me word of Your unfailing love…”
It’s a call to start the day, a call to begin the day with a good word. And what is that good word? The assurance of God’s unfailing love.
Those words remind me that The Lord loves me with an unfailing love, a love that I cannot earn, that I don’t deserve, but that He freely offers me anyway. It’s a love that will never fail, even when I do. It’s a love that will never end, a love that is mine forever.
“For I have put my trust in You…”
Here’s my part of the equation. I must place my trust in The Lord. Not in my own strength. Not in my ability to control everything and everyone around me. Not in my own intelligence or capabilities or resources. Nope, all that will fail in one way or another. But God won’t fail. His plans are perfect, even if I can’t quite see them clearly, even if I don’t quite understand how He will work it all out. I just have to trust that He will.
Which brings me to the second line of my early morning prayer. “Show me the way I should go, for to You, I entrust my life.” Sometimes in those early morning moments, I feel so lost, so uncertain, so anxious. Which way should I go? What’s the best choice? What action should I take? And then I answer my own questions. “Show me the way that I should go…” I don’t have to figure it all out as I lay there in my bed in the darkness. I need to ask God the way and trust that He will lead me in the right path. I need to entrust Him with my life.
Entrust…what a powerful word! It means “to put something into someone’s care or protection.” To entrust is to bestow, commend, turn over, place in someone’s hands. “For to You, I entrust my life.” To God, I have entrusted my life. I turn it over, I bestow Him with my burdens. I place my problems in His capable hands. I commend my soul to His loving care.
Every time I repeat that little prayer, my mind seems to linger on that word “entrust.” It’s a verb, an action word. It’s a choice. I have to choose to trust God with my life. I have to believe that no matter what happens to me or my loved ones, God will take care of me. He will see me through it. He will work it all out for my good, in His timing, in His way. I can entrust Him with the cares of this day and all the days to come. He can handle it.
It’s ultimately my choice. I can start the day frightened or fretful. I can worry myself to death over things I cannot control anyway. I can grumble and grouse about all the things that are wrong in my house.
Or I can lift my eyes heavenward and repeat these powerful words with feeling. “Let the morning bring me word of Your unfailing love for I have put my trust in You. Show me the way that I should go, for to You, I entrust my life.”
“Amen and Amen!”
I think that’s a much better way to greet the morning. Don’t you?
Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground.
Psalm 143:10 – NIVUK
O Lord God Almighty, how great is Your love for us, how marvelous is Your compassion over our cares and concerns. You are there when we lie down at night, and when we rise in the morning. You never leave us. You will never forsake us. Show us the way we should go. Help us to choose to trust You with our lives. May we know deep down within our souls that You are with us always and forever.
In the Gracious Name of Jesus, we pray,