Recently, I’ve received many words and promptings to “take up my cross and follow Jesus” by “denying myself” some sleep in the morning and getting up 10-30 minutes earlier than I would so I can spend that extra time in prayer or Bible study.
But it’s hard.
I’ve been struggling with this for awhile – like at least 6 months or more. For awhile I was doing it regularly. But then I wondered if I was doing it because I thought it would be a good idea – another example of me trying to earn favor with God or “do my religion” rather than being in relationship with my loving heavenly Father. So I stayed in bed.
Then after the promptings increased, I wondered whether they really were increasing, or if it was my imagination.
Recently, they’ve become overwhelming. An off comment here. A sermon there. A “random” line in a book that I was reading that spoke on this topic specifically. God has shown me that it’s not about me “doing” for Him, or earning favor with Him, but it’s about Him wanting to be with me! Clearly, this is something God is asking me to do.
Even this past week, I was in a christian fellowship setting and a guy I didn’t even know was talking about his revelation that according to scripture, the love we have for God should be so enormous that the love we have for our families should be so minimal in comparison that it could be equated to “hating” them (not that scripture tells us to hate our families; it’s simply illustrating the difference in the magnitude of love). This convicted me big time – how willing I am to get up in the middle of the night (sometimes several times) for my kids – to handle a bad dream or comfort during a sickness. I don’t even mind! It’s such a privilege to get to be “mom,” and this is part of the job description. But how HARD it is for me to get up for God. Even if it’s just 10 minutes!!!
It’s not like I sleep that much. On really rare occasions, I get 8 hours. Most the time, I hover right around 7 hours, and I’m usually up about 5am. So getting less sleep isn’t exactly sacrificing luxury, excess hours of zzzz’s. This will be a sacrifice.
Yet, here I am. Wanting to obey, but struggling to.