5 AM, A Gift of Gratitude

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“What do you think? A man had two sons. And he went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’  And he answered, ‘I will not,’ but afterward he changed his mind and went.  And he went to the other son and said the same. And he answered, ‘I go, sir,’ but did not go.  Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said, “The first.” Matthew 21:28-31a

gift of gratitude

BLART! BLART! my alarm goes off another morning begins or does it?

My word for this year is discipline. I have discovered I have very little of it in my life. And I know that the discipline God has called me to includes waking early…did I ever mention I am no morning person?

Honestly I hadn’t been waking early and when the lenten season began I gave up my snooze button in an effort to obey God in this area of my life. And in the last 20 mornings of Lent can you guess how many times I actually woke up when I needed to? Once. One time I woke up turned off my alarm and didn’t make an excuse to reset it.

I am the “other son” Jesus talks about in Matthew 21:30. I tell God I will obey, but I don’t. And I can make excuses like waking early isn’t a direct Biblical command or I was tired, sick, needed to spend time with my husband, etc. But the truth is I was walking in rebellion.

When I look at the depths of myself I can say with Paul that I am the worst of sinners. And I thank God for this lesson learned in during Lent. When there is no way to earn favor with God, my only hope is Jesus. Through faith in His sacrifice on the cross I am forgiven and freed from sin. In this freedom I can please God from a grateful heart rather than be weighed down by lists of do’s and don’ts. Suddenly the law becomes not a straight jacket of rules that must be obeyed so God will accept me, but a guide to show God my gratitude for what He has done for me.

Waking up at 5AM and getting out of bed becomes not a drudgery of a rule, but a gift of gratitude to the God who gave His son that I – the worst of sinners – may live with Him in eternity.

Praise the LORD!

What gift of gratitude do you need to offer to God today? Kind words to someone who hurt you? A prayer offered for someone who wronged you? Time spent in God’s Word?

Father God thank You for Jesus. Thank You that He died to pay the penalty for my sins. Help me to live in grateful obedience for this amazing gift. May I honor You in all I say and do through the power of Your Spirit who lives in me. In Jesus’ Name Amen.