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Daily Bread

Hey Hi Hello!

It’s June and waking up this morning to the sun shining in on my face brought such a warmth to my soul. I have been craving this warmth, needing this warmth, and I’m sure many of you can relate to that desperate desire for all things sunshine. To share a little bit about me, I refuse to put curtains on my bedroom window. My window faces East and as the sun rises it quite literally blasts into my room. For some that might sound like a nightmare when all you want to do is sleep in on a Saturday, but for me I crave that mother nature wake up call. To be honest when spring hits, and I begin waking up to the sun smacking me in the face, I rise with an Ana inspired “the sky’s awake so I’m awake!” If you’re not a morning person you probably think I’m a lunatic. For the record I don’t totally disagree with you.

I think my love for mornings really grew when I began approaching them with a deep gratitude. When I began thinking about and fixating on the promises of a new day. I started focusing on what a gift it is to wake up again and again. Now this wasn’t always the case for me, this was a massive mindset shift that God and I have been working on for years. And if I’m being completely real with you, I still struggle some days. I am not a ray of sunshine every single morning, I think that would be exhausting. More often than not I pray before I fall asleep that I may wake up with enthusiasm, with gratitude, with an open mind and heart for whatever lies ahead.

Do you ever set your clothes out or make your lunch, or maybe even set the coffee pot up the night before? If yes, why do you do these things? You are preparing for the next day, and as a result you are giving yourself a better start to your day. Less things to think about means a smoother transition out the door in the morning. Sometimes little things come up in the morning that interrupt our routine, but we are better able to handle these little interruptions if we have prepared the other things ahead of time. These interruptions aren’t maybe as overwhelming because the other daily stuff is taken care of already. Now I don’t always do these things, but I have in the past and it’s a game changer on those early morning, busy days. The reason I bring this up is because I think this is the same approach I take too praying at night. I thank God for what He has done today, and I look ahead to the next day. I ask Him to give me what I need, to help me rise with joy, and to be with me as I face the day. I prepare my mind by fixing it on God, and I allow Him to carry any anxieties or worries so I may wake up feeling rested.

I know this sounds so simple, or maybe it sounds unattainable if you really battle with sleep or have a hard time waking up in the morning. I’m in no way saying this is some magic formula to those things. But what I am saying is this, God wants us to invite Him into things before they have even happened. He desires for us to give every night to Him, and every day to Him, even before that day has arrived. Psalm 30:5 proclaims that joy will come in the morning. Lamentations 3:23 shouts that God’s mercies are new every morning. These are just a few verses of many that I cling too as I lay my head at night. But I do want to reassure you that this isn’t something that just comes easy or naturally. These are words I have to repeat over and over and over again. And it is also something that I have failed at more times than I can count. But maybe that’s why I am so grateful when the sun wakes me up, because I’ve come to realize that a new day means another chance to try again.

Now here’s my confession to you all, over the past six months or so God and I have been doing a massive renovation inside of me. A lot of new things have come into my life during this time, many really great things and people, and beautiful opportunities. I’ve been met with a lot of excitement, and eagerness for the future, but I have also faced some deep unexpected grief. Throughout these months I have allowed a lot of things to distract me from the promises I just spoke of. I have spent time wrestling with God, and honestly ignoring God in moments because I was afraid of what He might tell me. I’m stubborn sometimes, but what I’m learning now is that God is more gracious than I could have ever imagined.

One of the biggest things I’ve been wresting with is my desire to write. A good friend of mine asked me a few months ago where I saw myself in five years and one of the first things I said was “writing more.” For as long as I can remember I’ve dreamed of being a writer and when I started writing these blogs, I felt like that dream was finally beginning. Over time my writing began taking on new forms, such as songs, spoken words, other types of poetry, and for some reason these blogs took the back burner. To be honest I forgot why I was called to write these in the first place and the longer I went without them the harder it was for me to sit down and write again.

In the past few weeks, I’ve had multiple people ask me why I haven’t been writing, and I couldn’t truly pinpoint a reason, but I felt a deep sadness. I started questioning why I write, and I started thinking about how I’ve allowed this opportunity to sit stagnant. Last week, I opened the book I never finished writing and thought back to the passion I felt when I used to sit and write. I got mad at myself for not following through, for not making it into something and I began asking God why? Why do I feel so confused? Why can’t I figure out what to write anymore? Why am I so disappointed in myself?

In that moment I sensed God asking me to just come to Him. To spend time with Him. To come back to His heart. To know His heart the way He knows mine. I almost laughed at God, because of course I knew that spending time with Him was important, I have been doing that! And to be honest that wasn’t the answer I was looking for. I just wanted to write, and He just wanted me to sit in His word. It felt somewhat counter productive. But I also knew that I couldn’t write from the place I was in and somewhat stubbornly at first, I decided to really prioritize my time with God. I sat with my bible a lot more this past week than I have in months. I admitted to myself and to God how desperately I needed Him, and I apologized for not always making time.

I think recently I have been coming to God desiring a quick answer, or a quick refuel and I had lost sight of how desperately I just want to know who He is. God is not a vending machine, He wants us to marinate ourselves in His word, not just consume it with a quick fix mentality. God truly wanted me to sit in His word a little longer. And to not view that time as an inconvenience but to desire it so deeply. What I didn’t realize at first, what I had forgotten about, was how God reveals things to us when we choose to sit with Him a little longer than what’s comfortable or convenient. 

Over the past week or so I have been praying before I go to bed that God will give me the desire to sit in His word a little longer. I have been asking Him to wake me up excited for what He has for me. I stopped asking for Him to give me quick answers or to clear my writers block, instead I just asked to know Him a little deeper. I was reading through the Gospel of John this week, with no other motive than to simply know God’s heart more.

The final verse of this Gospel reads “Now there are also many other things that Jesus did. Where every one of them to be written, I suppose the world itself could not contain the books that would be written” (John 21:25 ESV). As I read these words, I felt a deep sense of calm and clarity wash over me. I read it over again, more slowly than the first. And I began thinking about the fact that so many people witnessed Jesus, and many of them never wrote these things down. The verse itself says that the world couldn’t contain all the books if everything Jesus did was documented. Then I began thinking about the words of the bible itself, and what life would be like if these words were never written down. But they were, God graciously gave us His word, using the voices of so many. So that we may know Him, so that we may have a relationship with Jesus.

I believe that God has called me to write. To use my gifts to glorify Him. I was so caught up not knowing what to write, fixating on the things I used to write, or being so concerned with what other people might want to hear, that I forgot why God gave me the desire to write in the first place. I had no idea that sitting with God a little longer would reveal and refuel this desire in my heart, but that’s exactly what He did for me.

If you’ve made this far, thank you for reading. I truly believe that God wants to speak to you and I know for certain that God has given each and every one of you your own gifts and He wants you to use them. But what I also know is this, what He desires the most is for us to know Him. When we make it a priority to come to Him, to spend time with Him, to give every single day to Him, He will begin making these gifts and dreams clear to us. He will give us the excitement we need to get up in the morning. He will push us to create, and He will move in and through us when we make space for Him.

The answer I was looking for was so simple and I was making it far too complicated. God just wants me to glorify Him through the things I do and the words I write. And if sitting down and hashing out my walk with Him will point others towards Jesus than that’s more than enough for me. Above anything in this life I want to bring glory to His name.

My prayer for you is this. May you desire to sit in God’s presence a little longer than before. I pray that as you lay your head you are willing to give the next day to Him before it even begins. I ask that He reveals the gifts He has given you and the dreams He has placed in your heart so that you may wake with enthusiasm once again.

Above all else, thank you for giving us your word, God. Today and everyday I live for you.

Kerstan Cooper

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