Sunday, June 12, 2011

without complaining

This morning I woke up at 3:45am (it's now 5:30am). I knew by how alert my mind was that I probably wasn't going to be falling back to sleep, even though I had over 2 hours before the alarm sounded. I tried laying in different positions, nothing is comfortable for very long. I tried quieting my mind, which means I only thought of work, cleaning + organizing, other future obligations, and of course spiders lurking in the shadows of my room.

It took me about 30 minutes before I decided to pray. At first I prayed for sleep. Then I thought I should pray for God to either give me rest of talk to me in the stillness of our house. I instantly thought "Do everything without complaining." I knew I needed to hear this because I had just whispered how long I'd been awake to Ben who was most likely not awake at all. Not remembering the book or verse I resolved to look it up...after I got the sleep I deserved, which didn't come.

Then I started to think about following Jesus, what it means to me and why I shouldn't be so quick to whine and complain even if I'm fully justified in doing so. The following thought came to me, a bit jumbled at first, I thought about it over and over until it came more clearly.

-Following Jesus isn't about adhering to a set of religious rules. - Following Jesus is about learning how to love others and spread the good news of amazing grace. -

I considered getting up to write it down, but then I thought of a million reasons not to. "I should really try to sleep." and "I may wake the rest of the house." I lay there a bit longer and tried again to clear my mind and fall asleep. After another 10 minutes I finally go up and headed to the living room. I wrote down what I had heard. Then I sat at the computer and pulled up today's Bible reading through our church's website. I scrolled down to the New Testament passage, Philippians 2.

I thought God must have been speaking to me about following Jesus when I read the first paragraph:

"1 Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

 5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus..."

Then I knew God had been speaking to me when I read further:

"14 Do everything without grumbling or arguing..."

It's often difficult to find quiet times to listen for God's voice. I let it get drowned out by all kinds of noise, both literal and figurative. I put what I think I need (sleep) over what God knows I need. So I'm going to trust God to get me through the morning because a little lost sleep is surely worth hearing His voice in the stillness.


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