4:30 is not my preferred devotional time.
4:30 is not my preferred ANYTHING-BUT-COMA time.
I'm not one to give Satan any credit, but somebody woke Nora up. And that stubborn girl was not going back to sleep.
Stubborn mommy was also not letting her get up at 4:30 am. So Lily and Sofie tried to sleep, Nora hollered, and instead of fighting with frustration and disgruntledness-ness (how's that, Craig?) I insisted that I would be the "sweeter daughter" of yesterday's devotional and not the one being made, quite literally, evil. I hate mornings.
"God always presses until we learn to make Him our first consideration," Chambers says, and so today, desperate for a totally different kind of day than yesterday, I did.
I made my coffee and pulled open Ephesians 3, the passage Francis Chan was preaching on Sunday. I had been far too sick to ingest any of what he'd been saying, but he was passionate about the passage, so I blinked at it through my new eyes of the day.
That He would grant you,
according to the richness of His glory,
to be strengthened with power through His Spirit
So that Christ may dwell in your hearts though faith
and you, being rooted and grounded in love
may know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge...
That you may be filled up with all the fullness of God.
Brothers and sisters, morning people, night-owls, mountain-toppers, valley perseverers, broken, thirsty, needy, lonely people today...
What prayer do we need more than this one?
What more could I possibly need this suddenly overflowing morning, than the richness of His glory, than to be strengthened with POWER through His Spirit?
What more could I ever need than to have the living Christ dwell in my heart, grounding and rooting me in love?
What gift could be greater than truly KNOWING that which SURPASSES knowledge...the wide-and-deep love of Christ?
And what could I need more this morning than to be filled up with all the fullness of God?
Let me tell you something.
I can't come even close to wrapping my pea-brain around the fullness. of. God. So I'm pretty sure that me being FILLED UP with the fullness of God means there would be absolutely no room for my ME. Absolutely no room for my fears or weaknesses or worries or struggles or pain. No room for complaining, for despairing, for moods. Filled up with the fullness of God.
I was awake beyond coffee and prayed Ephesians 3 over and over. I prayed it for Lily as she slept, 8-going-on-18, I prayed for Sofie, my firecracker bunny, I even forgave and prayed for sweet Nora Joy...still wailing from the guest room.
I prayed it for the Heckmans next door and Ethan in Jersey and the Edlers across the way. I prayed it for Jodenel and Leme and Lucner and Claudin and Junel and Job, I prayed it for William and Jerry and Phida and Nosebin and Walnique. I prayed it for Gertha and Micheline and Sharon and Lisa and Elise and Meg and Ana and Shelley and Jane and Prudence and Randi and Molly.
I got carried away, praying it for all of us, family, that we may be filled up with all the fullness of God, covering over, overflowing our faulty short selves and more of him, more of him, still more.
I prayed it all day...while we made blueberry pancakes together at 6, while we worked out together at 6:30 with Nora mostly trying to sit on my head, while we labored through multiplication and photosynthesis and Alexander the Great and "If You Were There When They Wrote the Constitution" with Lily and Sofie. I prayed it in my office, working on a million little things with a million little interruptions and conversations and details, and through the afternoon of cleaning and cooking and preparing and helping and playing and changing diapers and reading. And I'm praying it tonight, going to bed, remembering TO shut the door this time...
...because when you're praying strength and roots and love and fullness all the day long, everything is very very different, from my heart to my words to my peace to my patience, which all felt so very empty last night, and so very full today.