I went to bed early enough so that by about 5:30, I awoke feeling rested. But when I opened my eyes, all I could think of was “a little more rest”! So I stuffed a few pillows behind me, and sat up in bed. And before I knew it, it was 6:30. An hour gone! What was the lie that I was believing that preventing me from using this time wisely, in prayer? That I needed a little more rest! The Bible says, “How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? When wilt thou arise out of thy sleep? [Yet] a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man.” (Proverbs 6:9-11)
The next few hours was sorrow and misery for me as I now “had” to “get up” and attend to duties. But my spirit was not right! It had not been prepared to handle the days events! I realized what I had failed to do earlier — spend time with God — so I “wound back the clock,” as it were. At 9:00 I pretended it was 5:30 — the time I should have awoken in the first place. Acting the part, I said, “Okay, Lord, it’s 5:30 now. I’m going to do it right this time. I’m going to make this day work. I shaved, took a shower, and before I knew it, fifteen minutes had gone by. I said, “Okay, Lord, it’s 5:45 now. The children are going to be getting up soon.”
In this manner, the Lord allowed me to “relive” the moment of having gotten up at 5:30, and to “do it right” this time. Because I was “reliving the moment,” I didn’t feel at all burdened by the time that it actually was (9:15 by this time). As far as I was concerned, it was 5:45 and that was that! I got out from the bathroom and then put on my underwear. I intended to put on my long pants, but the Lord said, “No”. I said, “Lord, okay.” I would have thought then that I should go and pray, kneeling by my bedside. But again the Lord said, “No”. I said, “Lord, okay.” I then did what the Lord said to do: I paced our very short hallway upstairs and began to pray. In this I had peace. In this, the Spirit began to move. There was a flow, and the words came easily.
“Oh God,” I said. “Help me to be a good father to my children! Help me to be a good father to Elizabeth! She needs a good father! Help me to be a good father to Daniel! He needs a good father! And help me to be a good father to Rebekah! She needs a good father!” Tears began streaming down my face. I was overcome with emotion. You see, years earlier, I had lived an entirely different experience in which I was deeply wounded by my own father, who tried his best, but was himself a victim of an abusive, alcoholic father, who abandoned the family when my father was only 7 years old. Still in me was the pain and the shame of my upbringing, and God was doing a healing work. For about 15 minutes I paced the hallway back and forth, asking God to help me be a good father, and a good husband. The tears kept coming. And then, almost as suddenly as it came, the burden lifted — and I was changed.
I got dressed, and it was over. God had done a healing in me.