By Janel Breitenstein
Moment of truth: When I was a young mom, a baby on my hip and three toddlers/preschoolers welded around my knees, rising early for a quiet time simply did not happen. Part of it was that Mommy-radar kids possess—the one that somehow senses She Has Awakened, and it is now time for the pitter-patter of little feet to commence. Part of it was sheer exhaustion, nursing through the night or pregnant for literally five years; a REM cycle is simply too key to being a happy mommy. So I would fold open my Bible at night, after the last drink of water/trip to the bathroom/I found an owie on my toe routine. And just before my eyelids fell in exhaustion.
But now that I have passed that precious and grueling season of survival, there is something magnetic about curling in the quiet with my God, as the gray light turns softly pink, and before my now-taller children shuffle out for breakfast. It has become my “me” time. It is my time to be embraced, much as I seek to envelop my kids in their bedheads and still-warm PJ’s as they emerge. The Psalmist writes it succinctly: Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.
And this prayer—this begging of God to satisfy me—has become a vital element of my day. Whether my quiet time works out as planned or not, I am increasingly aware that I must settle my soul in God at the beginning of my day. If I do not seek God’s perfect fit of all the holes in my heart, they wreak destruction on me. Sadly, even more, I churn out havoc on the people I love. I leak emotion from my heart’s unresolved questions; its clawing for satisfaction means I trample on whatever (or whomever) it takes to obtain what my heart’s silently decided will plug the hole, much like an addict.
Years ago, I scrawled down John Piper’s prayers, called “IOU’s”, before getting into the Word:
- Incline my heart to you, not to prideful gain or any false motive. (Psalm 119:36)
- Open my eyes to behold wonderful things in your Word. (Psalm 119:18)
- Unite my heart to fear your name. (Psalm 86:11)
- Satisfy me with your steadfast love. (Psalm 90:14)
God has slowly taught me a quiet, rich value in uniting my heart’s endless occupations; in finding myself inclined toward, satisfied in, and fascinated by God. This as the starting—and continuing—point for my day is a form of settling the anchor of my soul, so it can remain unmoved by the swift currents of my day. It’s as if God’s bending to whisper in my ear: You are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. May He continue to addict us to Himself and His satisfaction—so that, in all this, our hearts might just crave what they were made for: Give me Jesus.