First United Methodist Church, Lewistown, PA 17044  ~  717-248-4618   ~  fumc200@outlook.com

Oh What a Night

February 15, 2016

Oh what a night! Mid February back in O-16! "What a very special time for me, as I remember what a night"

 

Yes, "The Four Seasons" were blaring in my head last night. Well, not really but it really was a night!

 

The usual Sunday evening found be turning in about 9:30 or quarter till ten. I went to sleep quickly. Sunday rigors often have me fairly exhausted by the end of the day.

 

Somewhere around 1 AM I awoke and decided to trudge to the bathroom. (Shouldn't have had that last late glass of water!)  Upon returning to bed, it became apparent something else was going on.  I couldn't get back to sleep. It was the typical night when I toss and turn. In the turmoil, my brain for some reason kicked into gear. I never told it to do this! Why doesn't it ever listen to my pleadings? Gadzooks!

 

Now it's 1:45 and I give in and head to the kitchen. Bible reading usually helps an overactive brain session. I meandered through the minor prophets and bumped into the Gospels. From there I thumbed into Romans and began reading (of all things) the explanatory information about Paul's letter to the church in Rome.  

From this page above, I journeyed toward Romans 11 and then found myself digging through Isaiah 59! Have you ever driven through familiar territory only to find yourself coming out on a road you've never traveled before? That was my experience last night (early morning).

 

Just a few of the "aha" moments from this little early morning journey include:

 

* The scriptures that speak of God redeeming Israel both in the Old Testsment sense and one day through Jesus Christ (Romans 11:26, Isaiah 59:20).                    (God always keeps His Covenants!)

* Moving from Isaiah to Genesis to discover in the commentary that three Sumerian kings were thought to have reigned for 72,000 years each!! Imagine their retirement plan. (Footnotes on Genesis 5:5, NIV Study Bible, Zondervan: 2002)                          

* How cold the house is at 2 AM (when the thermostat is set back to 62).

* How little a blanket keeps one warm at 2 AM.

 

Whoops, I'm off track! Anyway, long story short, I filled a couple pages of my tablet with notes and ideas for upcoming sermon material and Bible studies.  Aha! There is the redemptive sliver in this unsettling night. My prayer below is what I would like to utter to the Lord. (It sounds pretty sanctimonious)

 

        "O Lord, I am quite content to discuss these matters with you at 1:30 in the afternoon any day of the

         week. In your mercy, hear my prayer. Amen."

 

Yet, God chooses to speak to me through the Spirit whenever He wants. My response is simple. Listen up! Pay attention! Follow wherever God leads! Take notes! Learn things!

 

Lent, for me, is often about setting aside my own ambitions and projects and allow God to overwhelm me with His wisdom and grace. It's about me bending to God's will and not my own miniscule desires. It's about moving toward God with obedience and openness to receive a gift of immeasurable worth.

 

         "Thank you O lord for stirring my heart and mind this early morning. I know your timing is always perfect

         and your guiding will never leave me wandering in the wilderness for any time longer than what is

         necessary for you to reveal your plan to me. In the creative and powerful name of Christ Jesus I pray.

         Amen."

 

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