Sometimes I can just be lazy. Not all the time. Not even a lot of the time. Just some time, especially first thing in the morning. I just looked up the word “lazy” on dictionary.com and you know what I found? I found me at 5:30 a.m. Mind you, I wasn’t the first definition. I wasn’t even the second one. No. I was definition #3: slow-moving; sluggish: a lazy stream. Yep. A lazy stream. That’s me first thing in the morning. Maybe this is something you can relate to (I see you nodding your head).
See if this sounds familiar: You stayed up way too late the night before putting away laundry, chatting with your son (definitely seize that moment!), comparing calendars with your husband, planning the following day, and reading a chapter or two in a good book. Now it’s early the next morning. Very early. No one is up. Even the sun is still in a deep sleep, wrapped in a starry blanket. The only sound is… well, there is no sound… that is, not until the alarm on your iPhone has the nerve to make its presence known. Very loudly. And relentlessly. Ahh, now you’re getting the picture.
That’s precisely where I was a few weeks ago, early in the morning. To be perfectly honest, I had planned to sleep 30 extra minutes. I was tired and so it was easy to rationalize my premeditated lack of early-morning quiet time with God. He would understand, right? (Yep… probably)
But wouldn’t you know it, I woke up 30 minutes early anyway. I looked at the clock and smiled as I thought, “30 more minutes to sleep! Yes!” And that’s when I felt it: a quiet nudge. “Lord, You know how I need this extra 30 minutes of sleep. I’ll open my Bible later in the day.” And I rolled over. Seconds passed before I felt it again, a little stronger this time and definitely a God-push. And the funny thing is, I had no desire to fight it. In fact, as I was whipping the blankets off I realized I couldn’t not get up.
So I made my way to the shower, fixed a cup of coffee and opened my Bible. “Okay, You got me here… what next?” I said to God. You know what He said? Nothing. Nothing? Really? Nothing. Okay… I’ll just do what I usually do. I read in Ephesians and opened my daily devotional, My Utmost for His Highest. Finding Oswald Chamber’s words especially encouraging, I decided to share some of his morning devo on my Facebook wall, that and a few verses from Ephesians. And that was that.
I went to work and got caught up in my day. At one point, I had to go online for something and remembered my morning posting. When I opened up Facebook to check it, I found a private message from a “friend” whom I don’t know. This is what he said:
Wow, Ann! I’m so glad that you wrote this. I was beginning to lose hope because I feel abandoned by God because of my marriage and what’s happening. I needed to read your status this morning, because I was going to end my life on Friday, but now I have hope… and I won’t leave my wife a widow… Thanks for saving my life, your timing is impeccable.
Wow. I sat and stared at his message, I could hardly breathe. My little 30-minute-act-of-obedience was for this: God used me to save a life. While all I could think of was a little more sleep, God had a desperate man on His mind. And when I finally got out of the way, God answered his prayer.
Made me wonder how often I ignore God. I know that sounds harsh, but there it is. How many times is God wanting to use us to speak words of life to someone who’s on the brink of death… to show a little love to someone who’s forgotten what love looks like… to go out of our way so that God can get right in the middle of theirs. I’m ashamed to say it, but I think the answer is more often than we realize. If we’ll only stop thinking of our own comfort. If we’ll only step outside of our own comfort zone. If we’ll only let Him use us how He wants to.
Isn’t that what we want to do? Isn’t that what we pray when we sing, “I surrender all”? We can be guaranteed that when we truly mean it, God will use us. He will.
If we’ll only…