How Long Until Naptime?
"Relent, LORD! How long will it be? Have compassion on your servants. Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days." Psalm 90:13-14 (NIV)
A wise friend told me once that in parenting the days are long, but the years are short. At the time I had three little boys at home, ages 5, 4 and 2. I was in the midst of long days. I woke up to the sound of little people; it was a steady soundtrack throughout my day:
"Mommy, I need …"
"Mommy, can we …"
"Mommy, he just …"
I had a soundtrack playing in my head, too: "How long, Oh Lord? How long until naptime?"
It’s a paraphrase of Moses’ words from today’s key passage from Psalm 90. Moses was pleading with the Lord for relief. He was pleading with the Lord for rest. That’s a prayer we parents know all too well.
Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Moses gives us valuable insight for how to punctuate these desperate, quiet groanings: "Satisfy us in the morning."
Satisfaction from the Lord is not just what I want, it’s what I need. Because, let’s be real, not much is going to change in my day-to-day activities.
Feeding kids. Running errands. Wiping faces and bottoms. Checking homework. Driving carpool. Scrubbing toilets. In the midst of all of that (and your list looks similar, right?) we need the Lord to satisfy us, feed us and make us full before life empties us.
Moses knew about the Lord’s daily satisfaction. Each morning, the Israelites would arise and gather enough manna for the day. They were fed, filled and satisfied each morning by the Lord’s supernatural provision of food in their desert wanderings.
They were not permitted to gather extra. They couldn’t store it up for the next day. The Israelites were given just enough for the day in front of them. God’s satisfaction was immediate and effective, but just for today’s demands. Tomorrow would have fresh bread for the gathering.
We read in Deuteronomy 8:3b how Moses told the Israelites that the real message of the manna was that they were not satisfied by the bread but "on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD" (NIV).
Moses, a man who knew a thing or two about dealing with demanding, whiny, difficult people, knew that the Word of the Lord would give him hope for the day’s struggles. God’s Word would give him patience as he waited. God’s Word would help him worship. God’s Word would turn his eyes from his day’s circumstances and fix them instead on the character of his Lord.
It’s an ambitious prayer. It’s a prayer that believes God’s Word is powerful — and every bit as powerful as the God who breathed it. I believe it’s that powerful. Do you?
It’s okay if you’re not sure. It’s okay if you’ve never really experienced its power. But can I ask you to try again? God’s Word has really, truly changed my days.
Sometimes it’s overwhelming to know where to start. I understand. I used to kind of do the "flip and dip" approach to reading my Bible. You know, flip it open and dip in, hoping something sticks. For me, that was terribly inconsistent and frustrating.
What worked was reading a small portion of the Bible every day. Like the Israelites received the Lord’s satisfying care every day, that’s just what I needed, too.
I didn’t need to read chapters and chapters to sustain me for the week. I just needed my daily portion.
And just like the Lord was faithful to the Israelites, He is faithful today to all who turn to Him. Amazingly, God’s Word sustains me through each day so I can make one more sandwich, drive to one more practice and read one more bedtime story … with a smile.
Oh Lord, I feel like I run on empty. I need to be filled, but sometimes I try to fill myself with rest, television, social media or food. Nothing fills and prepares me for today’s demands like Your Word. Help me feast daily on the bread You have provided in Your Word. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Nehemiah 9:20-21, "You gave your good Spirit to instruct them. You did not withhold your manna from their mouths, and you gave them water for their thirst. For forty years you sustained them in the wilderness; they lacked nothing, their clothes did not wear out nor did their feet become swollen." (NIV)
Proverbs 30:8, "Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread." (NIV)
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REFLECT AND RESPOND:
What activity fills your "free time" but rarely fills your heart?
What is usually the first thing that grabs your attention in the morning? Do those thoughts shape your day?