Why? Oh Why does God wake me up at 3:30 am?
I usually can just quote in my head one of the Bible chapters I have memorized and go back to sleep. I’m usually asleep before I get halfway through Ephesians 4 or James 1.
But last Thursday at 3:30 in the morning…a whole sermon came from thinking about three chapters:
Psalm 51 – a psalm of repentance
Jonah 2 – Jonah’s prayer
Romans 8 – part of Paul’s letter to the church at Rome, full of wonderful truths
First I considered Psalm 51.
David wrote this after being confronted about His sin against Bathshebe and against God. He wrote this prayer to ask God for forgiveness.
Just look at what David wrote in this psalm. Look it up. Read it.
He had messed up! And he cried out to God knowing he would be forgiven even of adultery and causing a man to be killed!
I mentally recited Psalm 51. Twice! And thought on it. Hoping to get sleepy.
But I was still wide awake.
So I read Jonah’s prayer found in Jonah Chapter 2. (I’m working on memorizing this.)
When reading this, keep in mind that Jonah was inside a large fish as he prayed. He was still suffering, still in a predicament, and not yet saved from trouble!
He had done wrong and had found himself in a bad place: drowning at sea because of his own disobedience. He called out to God and God sent a big fish to take him where he should have gone in the first place. In the belly of the fish, Jonah cried out again to God ending with the statement, “But I with the voice of thanksgiving will sacrifice to you; what I have vowed I will pay. Salvation belongs to the Lord!”
After reciting Psalm 51 and reading Jonah 2, realizing that sleep was not happening, I moved on to Romans 8.
This chapter talks about there being no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, our adoption as sons, being heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, and much more. I love this chapter! It took me months memorize it, but it is so full of truth I need to hear and meditate on. Especially after thinking about all the ways I had messed up as a believer, as a wife, and as a mom. I need to be reminded that God does not condemn me, He has adopted me, and He loves me. Nothing can change that.
After reciting the three chapters, I began to pray my own prayer of repentance.
Some of my repentance concerned my attitude about the poor and hurting in my community. I don’t want to have the attitude towards my community that Jonah had towards his. I want to love those who are not like me, care for orphans and widows in their distress, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and love the unlovable.
There were many other things I talked with God about that morning, but that is just between Him and me.
After praying and crying out to God, I was reminded again of verse one of Romans 8. There is no condemnation for me as I am in Christ Jesus. I thought about my adoption into His family and how nothing can separate me from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus my Lord.
And I laid there softly crying in gratitude. I am so grateful for God’s redemptive work, for His forgiveness and His love.
Dear reader, that redemption, forgiveness, and love are all available to you as well! Seek God. He wants you to know Him. To know these truths for yourself.
God can and will do these things for you if you let Him. If you seek Him. May you find Him now.