Although I dearly love my puppy, he has some bad habits. One of my least favorites is that he wakes up very early. I know some of you feel that early mornings are sacred. You love to rise before the household and accomplish your tasks. Responsibility and duty drive you, and quiet mornings allow you to thrive. Mornings with Cooper are anything but sacred or productive. He wakes, usually before 6, and begins scratching. He scratches on whatever is closest at that time. Maybe it’s the bed, the carpet, the floor or the wall. He is not picky, he just starts scratching. It makes an awful noise so I am always immediately awakened. I have to admit, I do not pop out of bed quickly so the dog has to move to his next tactic to get me up; whining. He is not a very verbal dog but he has a nice little high pitched whine that he has perfected just for mornings. He sings it ever so softly so I will hear him. If I fall back asleep or do not say something to him, the whining gets louder. Eventually Cooper succeeds in waking me and I reluctantly get up and take him out. But Cooper’s antics don’t stop there. Morning is his favorite time of the day. He runs out to potty and then races back to the house, exploding with excitement. The day has begun and he is ready for it! He is ready to play, to run, to chase the cat or do whatever he can to fully engage in the moment, the very early moment.
On this particular day I was exhausted and foolishly thought I could get him to get back in bed to snuggle with me. I snuggled under the covers and called him. He bounded into the room and jumped excitedly onto the bed. To my surprise, he did lay down next to me in an attempt to receive some belly scratches. Unfortunately, the next several minutes felt like a circus. It was as if I was trying to hug a squirrel. He could not lay still. His body would wiggle and twitch and flip over. He would lick me and then nibble a little too. I diligently attempted to hug him while he squirmed and twisted back and forth. He was impossible to snuggle. I wanted to be close to him, and he was not having any part of it.
I layed there in bed and wondered if God ever feels that way about me. He tries to hold me, to show me His love, and I squirm my way out of it. He wants to comfort me, and I take a little, then push Him away. He wants to be close, and I wiggle and flail and move around until I get myself free of His grasp. I know being still and allowing God to be near me is healing, and would be good for my soul. But I struggle to have the discipline to do just that. Like Cooper, I just can’t sit still, be quiet, or vulnerable. It is hard to calm my mind and just be in His presence.
Thankfully, God knows my heart. He knows when I am restless, He knows when I need a calming touch. He is patient when I need time and He is always ready to share His love with me. I just need to quiet my soul long enough to allow Him. Although some days we feel restless and squirmy, He wants to hold us close and love us. He wants to fill us with His presence, His joy, His life. He is always offering it to us, we just need to settle down and allow ourselves to receive it. Psalm 46:10 says “ Be still and know that I am God”. The hardest part is our part; “be still”. It’s the only part we need to play. As the world continues to swirl around us, God forever remains the same.
Sit. Be still. Pray. Know. God is still God, and that is good. My prayer for you today is that you still your heart long enough to know that God is pursuing you relentlessly.
- Can you identify a time in your day when you can still your mind and focus on the presence of God? Commit to 5 minutes today.
- Write down what it feels like to be still before God. It’s ok if it feels uncomfortable, vulnerable, overwhelming. God is Holy and that can feel intimidating. Remind yourself that God’s love for you is the first and last feeling He has for you. Allow yourself to sit in that for a moment.
- Pray that God would surprise you with His presence today. Pray that you would be aware of all the ways He is trying to get your attention. Pray too that you would have the ability to receive the love He is pouring on you!