Planning your day
O God, You are my God; I shall seek You earnestly [early]. – Psalms 63:1
Psalms 5:3 Listen to my voice in the morning, LORD. Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly.
Psalms 37:5 Commit everything you do to the LORD. Trust him, and he will act on your behalf.
George Washington Carver was born into slavery in the 1860’s during the Civil War, in Diamond, Missouri. Because of his race, most schools closed their doors to him. His parents taught him at home. At the age of fourteen, he left home to seek an education. He had an insatiable thirst for knowledge. Eventually he was accepted at both Simpson College and Iowa State.
This young genius became one of the most prominent inventors and agricultural scientists of his time. He actively advanced the idea of crop rotation to prevent soil depletion. Carver developed over 100 products that were derived from the peanut, including dyes, plastics and gasoline. In 1941, Time magazine dubbed Carver a “Black Leonardo.”
A Christian couple befriended him, and he became a student of the Bible. The Scriptures became his reliable guide to his dying day.
To what did Carver attribute his success to overcome almost insurmountable obstacles?
Carver would be the first to tell you it was because of the Lord. “I have made it a rule to go out and sit . . . at four o’clock every morning and ask the good Lord what I am to do that day. Then I go ahead and do it.” (Scientists of Faith, books, google.com).
What facilitated George Washington Carver’s success? Surely, he had a great deal of natural ability, intelligence, discernment, curiosity, and insight. But he had something far more important. He had daily encounters with the Father of eternity, the living God. This made all the difference in the world.
REFLECT & PRAY
People who walk with the Father have different priorities. Spending time with the Father early in the morning was an urgent concern which took precedence.
Father thank You that You actually want to spend time with me. I welcome the encounter. Encourage me to be wise in setting my priorities and making time with You number one.
What is an encounter with God? “An encounter with God takes place when He confronts us. Through these divine encounters, the Lord comforts us, challenges us, heals and forgives us. He changes us.” (Stanley). When it comes to encountering the Father, He is in complete control. There is nothing we can do to manipulate Him or “call the shots.” Whatever sense of control we have, we yield.
If we cannot manipulate or control the Father, is there anything we can do to encourage such encounters? Yes, of course. We can make ourselves available to Him. We learn to listen. We learn to hear and recognize His voice. We actively seek His direction, guidance, and instruction. “When we make ourselves willing and available, the Father will encounter us” (Stanley).
Learn from and seek to emulate George Washington Carver. Carver made it a daily practice to set aside a time to meet and commune with Him. Every morning he would spend time with the Father and seek the Father’s game plan for the day.
A simple question to ponder. If you want instructions and guidance for the day, when is the best time to seek it? It seems to me that the obvious answer is, as early as possible. Carver started every day at 4 AM seeking the Father’s face.
Psalms 63:1 O God, you are my God; I earnestly [early] search for you. My soul thirsts for you; my whole-body longs for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
The Hebrew word translated earnestly or early is shahar. The verb shahar originally meant to “to look for dawn.” It is derived from the noun shahar which means dawn. Thus, it meant to seek early, put first things, first. And then came to mean to seek earnestly, intently, or diligently.
As soon as David arose in the morning, he became aware of his need for the Father, just as he needed water shortly after waking up (Constable). David made it a habit to seek the Father early.
There is something about seeking the Father’s presence early in the quiet, serene, solitary, stillness of the morning. Early morning is when our minds and hearts are uncluttered, sharp, and clear.
When psalmists speak of their intense longing to be with the Father, they often described their yearning as thirst.
Psalms 42:1 As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for You, O God.
David characterizes his need to spend time with the Father as thirst. As he had been parched in the wilderness and thirsted for water, so his soul is parched and pants for the Father. For David, just thinking about the Father, created a longing, soul thirst.
David had learned to depend upon the Father every day. He probably could not imagine beginning a day without Him. His need was intense. During the best years of his life, David lived a life of daily dependence on the Father.
Each of us has daily routines that we follow upon waking. Would it be wise to make one of them and encounter with the Father?