I don’t know about you, but my kids are on summer break, and I’m really getting used to waking up at seven or eight for work instead of six a.m. Not everyone is a morning person, after all. I’m not—I like to say becoming a parent forced me to pretend I am, but left to my own devices, I’d probably roll out of bed at ten each day.
But between my job, my responsibilities as a parent, and my recent discipline of becoming a morning Bible reader, the alarm goes off, and I somehow find myself with the ability to not only wake up but move my sleepy limbs to the bathroom, then the coffeemaker, then to the couch with my Bible, all before getting dressed and getting out the door for work.
Some days, this feels like a superhuman feat. I want so badly to stay in the cozy pile of blankets on my bed and keep dreaming until the last second possible.
But somehow, because I know I must, because I’m trying to make reading the Bible each morning a priority, I find myself not only awake and moving but able to absorb mentally what I read—so much so that verses pop out at me later in the day. (Fellow recovering night owls—amazing, right?!) I’ve written on the “why” before: Starting my day by reading the Bible is a big part of where I am in my faith journey right now. It helps me “armor up” with God’s Word against the “forces of darkness” all around me (Ephesians 6:10-20). And so it must be done.
This week, I’m making my way through the Book of Exodus in the Old Testament. If you’re not familiar with it, this is the book that tells about how Moses, after encountering God in the burning bush, helps lead the Hebrews out of Egypt, where they had been slaves, and into the wilderness, where they received the Ten Commandments, constructed God’s Tabernacle, and awaited their journey to the Promised Land.
But building the Tabernacle is complicated stuff. God’s directions specify the exact size, the exact kind of oil, wood, metal, gemstones, etc. And if they disobey or mess up, the consequences are severe.
Of course, God knew Moses was probably thinking, “How in the world can we do this? We can’t even follow simple instructions, let alone craft something of this magnitude.” God knew the people would think the same.
Never fear, God reassured Moses in Exodus 31—He had the exact people picked out to oversee the job: Bezalel, Uri’s son and Hur’s grandson from the tribe of Judah, and Oholiab, Ahisamach’s son from the tribe of Dan.
As God explained about Bezalel, “I have filled him with the divine spirit, with skill, ability, and knowledge for every kind of work. He will be able to create designs; do metalwork in gold, silver, and copper; cut stones for setting; carve wood; and do every kind of work” (Exodus 31:3-5 CEB).
Indeed, God assured Moses, “To all who are skillful, I have given the skill to make everything that I have commanded you” (
They did what God commanded—they accomplished the seemingly impossible. How? God filled when with the spirit and gave them the skills they needed. Problem solved.
For me, getting up early to be a daily Bible reader felt impossible. But with discipline and motivation, as well as the God-given skills, gifts, and ability He placed in me when this desire awakened, I’m not able.
But it’s not just the mundane. Sometimes I, like we all do, have tremendous self-doubt about my ability to do whatever it is God has called me to do. I don’t want to do it, so I grumble and make excuses, or I simply feel I cannot do it because I’m somehow not good enough or skilled enough.
But if God calls us to something, He will help us through it.
It doesn’t matter what it is—waking up early, performing first aid on an injured child, building a Tabernacle, or leaping into a burning building to save a trapped family—God gives us what we need in order to do what He asks of us, even if it seems really complicated and impossible.
And that’s a huge comfort—especially on those days when I’m tempted to hit snooze on the alarm clock.
See you next week! Until then, stay armored up.