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Long Before Morning: Morning Devotions, Part 5

by | May 11, 2023 | a new perspective, Confidence, Morning Devotions

My soul waits for the Lord more than the watchmen for the morning; Indeed, more than the watchmen for the morning.” (Psalm 130:6 NRSV)

“In the morning, while it was still very dark, he got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed.”  (Mark 1:35 NRSV)

“If you tell me Christian commitment is a kind of thing that has happened to you once and for all like some kind of spiritual plastic surgery, I say go to, go to, you’re either pulling the wool over your own eyes or trying to pull it over mine. Every morning you should wake up in your bed and ask yourself: ‘Can I believe it all again today?’ No, better still, don’t ask it till after you’ve read The New York Times, till after you’ve studied that daily record of the world’s brokenness and corruption, which should always stand side by side with your Bible. Then ask yourself if you can believe in the Gospel of Jesus Christ again for that particular day. If your answer’s always Yes, then you probably don’t know what believing means. At least five times out of ten the answer should be No because the No is as important as the Yes, maybe more so. The No is what proves you’re human in case you should ever doubt it. And then if some morning the answer happens to be really Yes, it should be a Yes that’s choked with confession and tears and. . . great laughter.”  (Fred Buechner in ‘The Return of Ansel Gibbs’)

Each day presents me the opportunity to go deeper into my faith, to challenge the assumptions I’ve long held, to question and even doubt in order to grow more firmly in faith. The news has indeed shaken me of late and the presumption that political leaders have the best interests of the people at heart has been shattered. Buechner wrote for his time and place and probably could not imagine my world in 2023 but I doubt he’d change one word of what he wrote. It is strange how often the biblical phrase “For such a time as this” (Esther 4:14b NIV) has gone through my head as I reflect on the news of the day. I’ve read the news and informed myself. I have challenged my assumptions and when all is said and done ‘Yes’ still trumps (yes, I used the word intentionally!) “No” and I still wake up from my bed with confidence, shaky at times, and believe it all again today. How about you?

“I want to live this day out. I want to live this day out as though it were the first day of my life because that is of course what it is.”  (Fred Beuchner in “Alphabet of Grace”)

Prayer: Gracious God. You met me in the darkness before the dawning day. You whispered confidence and courage as consciousness came. In your presence and power I claim the day ahead and ask for the gift of your spirit to guide me. And now you have given me another sunrise to enjoy- thank you.

(To access the entire “Morning Devotions” mini-series, click here.)

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