I’d been busily working all morning with lots of tasks, when I heard a beeping sound. I knew the washing machine was on, but the cycle wasn’t finished yet. I was cooking a lamb shank for dinner – yum – but this sound wasn’t the faint single beep from the oven.
I was also writing a series of devotionals for the church, which meant the use of a small timer to prevent me from staying at the computer for too long in one sitting…that’s if I remembered to set it! No, I’d just come out of the shower, so that suspect was eliminated. So what was it? Ah, I’d forgotten that I’d put the breadmaker on to bake a loaf for tea.
How I rely on those timers! I also use the little one to make sure I hard-boil eggs for exactly the right length of time: not runny, not too hard, and definitely not until the saucepan turns black! Oh dear, that’s happened so many times in my life, but not this day.
Perhaps you’ll be pleased to know that the bread turned out beautifully, the weather was lovely for getting the clothes dry, the devotionals were coming along, and some eggs, which I did cook later in the afternoon, were perfect for the sandwiches we were going to eat with the fresh bread.
I thought about those beepers as I continued my day’s work. They’re an important part of our lives these days, aren’t they? As I pondered, I recalled the conversation I’d had recently with one of the young women in the church youth group. She was saying that the young people wanted to participate in the two-month 24-Hour Prayer Commitment for our nation. We’re facing huge problems at the moment with Governments wanting to legislate for things that Christians are not happy about.
When the young people went to enter their names on the Calendar, they saw my name already there. This young lady said they were amazed at the slot I’d chosen. ‘How can she get up so early?’ one of them asked her. ‘I have enough trouble getting out of bed by 7 am’, another said.
I smiled. ‘I chose that time between 4 and 5 am because I’m usually awake then. And I don’t get up either; I just stay in bed and pray. That’s my time for talking to God about my whole family and all the others whose lives have touched mine’. She laughed and said, ‘Good on you’. Later I saw they’d found suitable times to pray. Good on them!
For a long time, the Lord has been waking me in the early hours of the morning to pray. It’s not that I’m particularly spiritual; I’m just older now and don’t need as much sleep as I used to. I’d noticed that I woke at this time and thought the Lord must be wanting me to pray, so I did. It’s amazing how God fits in with our schedules. And he doesn’t need a beeper; he just wakes me!
Here’s a verse from Matthew 14:25 in the Bible: At about four o’clock in the morning Jesus came toward them walking on the water. This is The Message version, but other translations have the time as ‘in the fourth watch’. The reason why Jesus wasn’t with his disciples on the Sea of Galilee, was because, at the end of his busy day, he’d insisted they go ahead of him to the other side of the lake, while he stayed behind and prayed, as was his usual habit. Good on him! What an example he set for us.