Tell me if you ever do this … You wake up convinced you must have overslept and you lay there worrying about it. Then you check the time to see it wasn’t time yet. But now you’re awake and you’re calculating how many minutes you have left to go back to sleep. Those minutes are spent in restlessness wondering once again if your phone is working, was the alarm set, and when is it time.
I did it this morning. But you see I have a new habit of plugging in my phone and putting it under my bed at night. Yes, for real that’s what I do. It’s not to keep me from checking it at night, but rather to make me hit my knees first thing every morning. When your alarm is going off and it’s under your bed, you have to drop to your knees to search for it and turn it off. And while I’m on my knees, I just start my day with prayer. It’s my favorite morning routine. You should try it. My second favorite morning routine is a harder sale, it comes immediately after hitting my knees. I take an ice cold shower. Yip, no waiting for the water to warm up, turn it all the way on cold and jump right in to the brutal awakeness. My breathing sounds like labor pains, but it invigorates my body to step into a beautiful day of living fully ALIVE. Maybe you could try both of these things this week and tell me what a difference it makes in your day.
So back to this morning, I’m laying there awake convinced the alarm must have failed and I overslept, but my phone is under the bed and I can’t tell the time. I lay there worrying. Worrying I should be up working on the devotional. Worrying I’m not where I should be doing what I should be doing. Finally my husband stirs and I know he’s semi-awake and I ask him to check his watch. He confirms what I should have already known … it just wasn’t time yet.
And then I knew, God woke me up this morning with that message to share. Honey, it’s just not time yet.
You keep wondering and worrying, checking the time and it’s simply not time yet. You’re not too late, your opportunity hasn’t passed, you’re actually exactly where you’re supposed to be right now. God knows when and how. God is keeping time and he is right on time.
What are you supposed to be doing before the alarm rings? You’re supposed to be resting. You cannot survive without sleep. Your body cannot heal and your mind cannot function. Poor sleep is tied to weight gain, mental scatter, heart disease, lowered immunity, swelling, diabetes, stroke, and GBS. You know what GBS is … Grouchy Butt Syndrome. Yip, that’s what a lack of sleep will do to you. But if you’re worried about the time, you’re not sleeping and it’s just making it worse.
Oh, but I’m not just talking about your sleep patterns sister, and you know it. If you’re always worried about the time, when it will happen, will it ever happen, how will it happen, is it too late, has God failed to hear your prayers … then you’re not receiving what is intended during your time of waiting. It’s not happening because you’re being prepared. God is preparing you for what will come in it’s time, but right now you’re receiving what you need for when it does.
And you know what would be best during this time of waiting … stop checking the time. Just trust it.
My alarm has never once failed me when I actually set it. Nope, not once. So why would I lose sleep, tossing and turning, wondering if it’s not going to work this time?
God has never once failed me when I’ve asked him for help. Nope, not once. So why would I lose my peace, pacing and fretting, worrying if he’s not going to work this time? Oh, no doubt he hasn’t always worked the way I imagined or when I expected, but eventually I look back and see he was working, it just wasn’t time yet.
You know when I really lose sleep fretting over if the alarm (that ALWAYS works) will work … when I need to wake up early for something big, something exciting. Something like an early morning flight for a trip I’ve been counting down to. The entire night will be spent checking the clock. What … as if the alarm has some type of internal setting that will disarm when it’s most important? That’s craziness. Yet that’s what we do.
And we do it with God too. When it’s something big and important to us, we obsess. We lose all peace and intended preparation time of rest because we’re checking to make sure God is going to do what he’s supposed to do and we obsess over when it will be time for it to happen.
GIRL STOP! If you set the alarm, go to sleep … it will work. If you prayed about it, receive your peace … God will work.
Hebrews 10:23 “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.”
Hold unswervingly … that means stop worrying and stop checking the time. God is faithful.
Looking back I see so many times God sets things into motion after I pray, but I don’t see it for 3 years. Yes, literally 3 years. Let me give you 3 examples.
In 2003 I journaled a prayer about adopting a child. Our son was 4 at the time and we didn’t want him to be an only child and we knew the risks of me getting pregnant again, so I asked God if he wanted us to adopt. In that journaled prayer I asked if that child was already born would he protect them and guide us to them.
Nothing happened for a long time. I assumed that “feeling” must have been impulsive and fleeting and we continued on with our lives. But the prayer had been written and God was aligning the perfect plan. We moved to El Paso and started crossing the border into Mexico to host monthly birthday parties at an orphanage. But nothing happened, nor was I expecting it to. I was just enjoying doing what we were doing and finding tremendous purpose in our involvement with all the children. Then, 3 years after I wrote that prayer 2 new little girls arrived at the orphanage, and their faces started filling my dreams. In my dreams, they were my girls. It was a long battle that cost us everything, but indeed, they were our girls. That journaled prayer from 3 years before was answered, we adopted not one child, but two! And it took 3 years for us to have any clue God was answering.
In 2009 I sat on a beach in Carlsbad, California on vacation. I found my own secret place to sit on a cliff and whipped out my prayer journal and once again wrote a prayer. I asked God if he would allow our family to move there. We went back home to the desert after that vacation and nothing happened. We worked, the kids went to school, and life continued as normal. But the prayer had been said and God was in motion. Guess what happened 3 years later … we sold everything, gave the rest away, and moved our little family, 3 mattresses and few lawn chairs to that beach in Carlsbad, California. It took 3 years to prepare my heart to release all my “stuff”, but once I did, we stepped into the reality I once prayed for.
And that brings us to today. Today I sit hosting this devotional in a little yellow island house up on tall stilts next to the water in the Florida Keys. We moved here this week and the current plan is to be here for the next 6 months, maybe longer. Well, guess what happened 3 years ago? Yip … you guessed it right. We came to the Florida Keys on Spring Break with our kids to celebrate our son’s Senior year in high school, and while here I journaled a prayer and asked God if Lonnie and I could empty nest here.
My mind shouldn’t be blown … but it is!
When we pray it’s like setting the alarm. We have to quit checking the time and trust it will happen when it’s supposed to. Receive the rest and preparation in the time of waiting. Learn what we need to learn in the process. Count on the God who’s ways are better, higher and bigger than our own to work every detail in the right timing.
I don’t know what you’re waiting on, but if you’ve prayed about it, then you can trust God is working on it. It may take some time and you may learn a whole lot in the process. It may have already happened, but you don’t even realize it because you’ve moved on to the next 17 things on your list and you haven’t stopped to thank God for all the prayers he’s already answered.
Colossians 4:2 says “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.”
If you prayed about it, have you looked back to see what God has done and have you thanked him for it?
Psalm 16:9 “A man’s mind plans his way. But the Lord directs his steps and establishes them.”
God’s timing is perfect. Trust God to direct your steps and establish his good plans for your life. Stop checking the time. You’re in a time of preperation … receive what is intended for this time, and the next time shall come.