Are your mornings like this? Wake up rush into the shower, rush into clothes, rush kids into clothes. Rush into the kitchen to get breakfast going, follow the plan for the day. Answer emails, answer texts, etc?
There was a day not too long ago when my kids slept in a bit due to a really late night. So when I got up I wasn't really rushing. I got my shower in and clothes on. I made my tea and sat down to do some reading and listen to a devo. Once my kids woke up and got dressed we spent some time in prayer together. (All this social distance is taking a serious toll on my outgoing extroverted family). I'm not going to say that day was perfect, because of course it had its challenges. However we did have a much smoother day and arguments were resolved much quicker than they had been in days passed.
In scripture we see that Jesus did this too. Let's take a look at the beginning of His ministry in the gospel of Mark.
"35Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, He got up, went out, and made His way to a deserted place. And He was praying there. 36Simon and his companions went searching for Him. 37They found Him and said, “Everyone’s looking for You! ”
38And He said to them, “Let’s go on to the neighboring villages so that I may preach there too. This is why I have come.” 39So He went into all of Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and driving out demons.", Mark 1:35-39, HCSB
If you start at the beginning of the gospel of Mark, you can see a summarized version of how Jesus started out. First we meet John the Baptist; Jesus gets baptized and heads into the wilderness for 40 days of fasting; John gets arrested; Jesus heads into Galilee; He calls His first disciples and they head to Capernaum. As soon as they get there they head into the synagogue and Jesus starts teaching. He then drives out a demon which kicks off a chain reaction that leads to many many more healings in this town.
At some point they are able to get some sleep. While everyone else is still sleeping, Jesus heads out to pray. What sounds like a really long day led to some much needed rest. Then Jesus began His day with God.
It's interesting how this to some of you is a no brainer. I know there are many of you who regularly spend your first few moments of the day with God. Some of you, however may be more like me in that you don't always spend the first few moments with God. I was excited to see how well this worked for our day! I am pushing myself to do this more in the future. I encourage you to as well.
Hey parents! Here’s a fun activity for you to do as a family!
God is a God of remembrance. Many times in the Old Testament (New Testament as well), He institutes a festival or holiday for the His people to commemorate a specific day. Think about Passover. The Israelites were to celebrate Passover as a remembrance of the salvation they experienced by the hand of God out of Egypt. Think about the Festival of Booths we read about in Nehemiah. This was the time they were to remember how God took care of them while they were in the wilderness. Also there are the days of Purim. This is the festival that celebrates how God saved them from genocide at the hand of Haman that we read about in the book of Esther. Think about the stones set up on the banks of the Jordan river in Joshua as the Isrealites crossed over the Jordan on dry land as they entered the promised land.
I think one of the reasons that God wanted His people to celebrate these many holidays was so that in the hard times, they would have something to point to and say, “Today may be hard for any number of reasons, but I know God is faithful. He took care of us at this time in the past, so He will again.” This is true for us today as well. Many Christians don’t celebrate these holidays, but we can still celebrate regularly what God has done for us, but only if we remember.
So the activity today is to create a wall (or posterboard) of remembrance. The memories for your wall of remembrance can be absolutely anything that has happened in the life of your family where God showed up and showed out!! An example from my family is the fact that God healed my oldest son so that he could come home from the hospital after being in the NICU for 8 days. You can add any pictures of the time (or person), a memory verse or two that were helpful to you at that time. Also, commit to adding to this wall as time continues. Return to it every time something happens in your lives when you see God moving. When the hard times come, as a family you can look over this wall and know that God sees His people and is still moving, even when we can’t see or feel it.
You could connect this with a study of any of the times that God instituted a holiday or day of remembrance in scripture. What a cool way to help teach our kids to turn their eyes to God in the hard times!
“Keep this word. It’s the law for you and your children, forever. When you enter the land which God will give you as He promised, keep doing this. And when your children say to you, ‘Why are we doing this?’ Tell them: ‘It’s the Passover-sacrifice to God who passed over the homes of the Israelites in Egypt when He hit Egypt with death but rescued us.’ “ The people bowed and worshipped.” Exodus 12:24-27