Sometimes when God shows you your heart, it hurts. But that’s good because then when you feel humble and see your error, you can repent and turn to God and go the right way.
For months I felt I should get up at 5 a.m. and spend more time in prayer and reading God’s Word before starting the day. Instead of getting better, it got worse: I went from getting up at 6 to getting up at 6:45, the last possible moment I could arise in time to make breakfast and pack my husband’s lunch before he went to work. “I feel so tired,” was my excuse, and it was supported by people who cared about me and told me that if I felt that tired, I must need the sleep.
Then I started exercising. I got a membership at a local gym and left the house at 7:30, after breakfast dishes were done. By the time I got home from the gym and took a shower and spent some time in prayer and distracted myself with a few things around the house (like laundry), I didn’t actually start my writing work for the day until late morning. I’d barely get started writing and it would be time for lunch. I wrote in the afternoons, but I felt like the mornings were wasted. Writing only in the afternoons wasn’t enough writing time for me. Evenings didn’t work for me to write, either.
After talking to God about it and evaluating the situation, I decided to do my exercise workout very early in the morning, before my husband got up for work. This worked well: I was able to get plenty of writing time during both the morning and the afternoon. It was great!
After about a week of getting up at 5 to work out, I set the alarm for 4:45 a.m. so that I’d have a little more time before leaving for the gym, a little time to pray and read my Bible. When I was up at 4:45 with no problem, the ugly truth hit me:
I’d had no problem getting up at 5 a.m. to exercise, and even 4:45; but I hadn’t been able to make myself get up at 5 to spend time with my Lord for all those months before.
When the light shone on my heart and I saw the ugliness hiding in the corners – that I could get up to exercise but not to spend time with my Lord – I was horrified and ashamed. It was a painful reality check but I am glad that it was brought to the light so I could see it, because I was humbled (which is good), and I was brought to repentance (which is very good), and I turned to God with that area of my life. And as always happens when another impure area of our life is exposed and corrected, I feel closer to God than ever before, and my understanding of His great love and patience with me has expanded. He had known that was in my heart all along, yet He loved me and revealed Himself to me and took care of me and worked through me mightily, even when that ugliness was in my heart. And now I am forgiven and it’s been washed away.
Yesterday, which was the day after the light of Jesus shone on that area of my heart, I did not work out at the gym, but I got up at 5 a.m. to spend time in prayer and reading the Word before my day started. The fight was on when the alarm went off at 5, but by God’s grace I passed the test and got up anyway, even though I felt tired. I am so glad I had that time with my Lord and King.
This morning I got up at 4:30 a.m. so I could have more time alone with Jesus before my workout at the gym. God is good!