Sunrise on the BeachAs much as I hate to admit it, I tend to be an information pack rat. I allow books and papers to invade my nightstand. I place them there with intentions of putting them in the garbage or filing them away after I have read them. Before I realize it I have a nice little stack that needs to be sorted through. The same thing happens with my emails. I’ll squirrel a file back with intentions of deleting it later. Then in the process of uncluttering, I come across something in the pile on my nightstand or computer file that strikes a chord anew. God will whisper to me through a forgotten devotional, card, letter or book. That happened last night as I was looking at an old prayer journal entry. He reminded me that I was getting slack with my time with Him and it was beginning to steal my joy.

Here, I’ll share it with you. Perhaps He will strike a chord within you too.

“I had a heavy heart yesterday morning. On my way to work, God brought many people to mind. I heard the Holy Spirit whispering to me to pray for release of hurts and worries that needed intercession right at that moment. So, I obeyed.

I continued to feel a restlessness in my spirit all night. Perhaps it was due to physical aches that caused me to toss and turn all night; perhaps unconscious worry of pending medical procedures; perhaps the anxiety that comes every Friday night with thoughts of what the Saturday obligation may bring in the morning, when caring for an elderly parent; perhaps it was my failure to be obedient to You to have my evening Bible study and devotional…and look to the promises You have for me today. More than likely, it was because I didn’t do my devotionals. Shame on me.

Normally, on a Saturday morning I will sleep in until 7- 8 a.m. Not so this morning. My eyes popped open at 5:30 a.m.! The first thought was, “Why on earth am I waking up at this time on a Saturday?” Then it hit me like a ton of bricks…the Holy Spirit’s whisper (I wouldn’t exactly call it a whisper this morning, more like a bullhorn.), “You didn’t do a devotional last night. You write it NOW.”  So, I pulled myself out of bed, turned on a hot shower, and started praying. What are you telling me Lord? What am I needing to know?

Joy in the morning….Joy in the Morning…Joy in the morning…Joy in the morning…

Psalm 30:5 (various translations)

(MSG 4-5) All you saints! Sing your hearts out to God! Thank him to his face! He gets angry once in a while, but across a lifetime there is only love. The nights of crying your eyes out give way to days of laughter.

(NET 5) For his anger lasts only a brief moment, and his good favor restores one’s life. One may experience sorrow during the night, but joy arrives in the morning.

(NIRV v5) His anger lasts for only a moment. But his favor lasts for a person’s whole life. Sobbing can remain through the night. But joy comes in the morning.

(NKJV v5) For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life; Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning

(NLV v5)  For His anger lasts only a short time. But His favor is for life. Crying may last for a night, but joy comes with the new day.

(VOICE v5) His wrath, you see, is fleeting, but His grace lasts a lifetime. The deepest pains may linger through the night, but joy greets the soul with the smile of morning.

(WYC v5)  For ire is in his indignation; and life is in his will (For there is anger in his indignation; but there is life in his favour). Weeping shall dwell at eventide; and gladness at the morrow tide.

What beautiful translations! I especially like the poetic Gaelic flow of the WYC translation.

Ahhhh….I see now. You must have been hurt when I failed to study the scriptures and have my evening conversations with You last evening.

Okay, Lord. I get it. I need to let go of whatever it is that was bothering me and trust that no matter what the night may bring; no matter what I think today or tomorrow may bring, You will always care for me. I need to let go of last night, of the past events in my life and look to the mornings, the “tomorrows,” for each tomorrow is a new morning in You.

What’s that old adage about time, “Today is the tomorrow of yesterday?”  So, if today is the tomorrow of yesterday, then surely Your joy abounds today. For if I had been obedient to have my time of study with You yesterday, then I would have been reminded that Your word promises “Joy in the Morning.”

I hope each of you reading this will find the “Joy in the Morning” throughout your day and will share in this prayer.

Dear Heavenly Father, the sunshine is beautiful this morning! Your SONshine even more so. Thank you for the promise of joy in the midst of my circumstances. Forgive me for worries and anxieties that I need to let go. I know I cannot change the past and that you alone control the future. Help me to live in a way that is reflective of Your love, grace, and mercy in all that I say and do today. In Christ’s name. Amen

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