Read: 1 Samuel 12:1-13:23, John 7:1-30, Psalm 108:1-13, Proverbs 15:4
My heart is confident in you, O God; no wonder I can sing your praises with all my heart! Wake up, lyre and harp! I will wake the dawn with my song. I will thank you, Lord, among all the people. I will sing your praises among the nations. For your unfailing love is higher than the heavens. Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds. Be exalted, O God, above the highest heavens. May your glory shine over all the earth.
Relate: The drums start at 2:20. Most years I ignore them the first day or two and then I have grown used to them enough that I sleep right through them for the rest of Ramadan. Not this year. This year I have been up with those drums and had my breakfast and prayer time a few hours earlier than normal. Let’s be honest, I have not always stayed up the entire time. More than once I have been back in bed around 5 AM and getting a couple more hours in before it is time to start my day “for real”.
There is something beautiful about getting up at such an ungodly hour, grabbing myself a cup of joe, putting on some worship music, and then just sitting there and letting the song soak through me. Granted, it usually takes the downing of a second or even third cup before I can appreciate the beauty, but still. By the time the sky is starting to lighten up and the birds are chirping, I am awake enough to start reading and studying my Bible without fear of falling back into the land of Nod. I don’t have the most beautiful of views from my place, but if I make my way up to the roof, I can enjoy the near silent sounds of a waking city while watching the golden dome peek its way over the skyline. There is a peace, there is a confidence in the goodness of God, that can only be found with the dawn.
React: I am not by nature a morning person. I am by discipline a morning person. If I had my way, early morning would be waking up any time before noon. There were four reasons I realized that it was absolutely essential to start disciplining myself into getting up earlier. The first of these is science. Those that study the brain and memory say that the best way to retain information is to study it right before sleeping and to study it again as soon as possible after waking. So… a brief time with God before bed and an extended one with Him early in the morning is the best way to make sure He stays first in my life.
The second and third reasons came from examing myself. I have found that I work best when I have a consistent routine in my life. Between working full time at a school and nearly full time in the ministry, I have little control over what my schedule looks like day to day, evening by evening. But I have full control over my mornings. If I want to have a consistent daily time with God, it must happen in the mornings. Also, I have found that I am much more likely to give into the temptation to sin late in the evenings than any other time of day. Be it depression, gluttony, lust, pride… the thoughts and the pull towards sin seems to get stronger and stronger as the night wears on. And the best way to make sure I am going to bed before this can happen is to make sure I am waking up when I should. If I am up before six in the morning, it is awfully difficult to stay up past ten at night.
The fourth, and most important, reason for why I have disciplined myself into being a morning person is that the Bible says I should. Psalms 108 is just one of many scriptures talking about spending time with God early in the morning. You can find similar verses throughout the Psalms. It is almost as if God knew the science of thought and He knew human nature long before we came on the scene. Perhaps that is because He created them both? Whatever the reason, God knows what is best for us and so He guides us towards a lifestyle that would help us make the best of our lives.
Now, it is almost 9PM and those drums… they come awfully early. So I’m off to bed.
Thank you for those drums. Even though it is the most difficult thing to do, thank You for calling me forth from my bed and into Your presence. Thank You for the peace and beauty You have hidden in the dawn. Help me, help us all, to be ever more consistent in the discipline of investing my mornings in Your presence. And as we do, I pray that You would meet us there.
12 thoughts on “May 12 – Awaken The Dawn”
Well Hello BJ, I was wondering when you were going to surface. That was quite a break. I trust you have your reasons and I’m glad to see (or read) of your thoughts again. Just letting you know you’ve been pretty close to the top of my prayer list for quite a while. Due to your location, I always mention your safety.
The early morning hours seem to be the most productive for me also, with regard to real sincere prayer and spending decent time in God’s word. Once I run into the noon hour my brain seems to go into neutral. I guess I am a morning person, being real in prayer happens much more frequently in the early hours and connecting the dots in God’s word usually happens best between the hours of 8 AM to 11 AM, so that is my prime study time. I don’t envy your background noise, when I was in Cyprus many years ago, I found the Muslim call to prayers to be a bit on the annoying side but I did get used to it, almost. Being semi-retired now does have it’s perks.
I’m always interested in your thoughts and experiences, hope to hear (or read) more of them in the future. God’s continued grace, peace and blessings to you and yours my friend.
Between full time teaching and full time ministry, it is incredibly difficult to give this the time it deserves to do it right. There was a time where I felt it best that I go silent on all social media… and even when that season passed, it was difficult to pick this back up. Once the summer arrives, Lord willing, I will be able to write on a regular basis at least for a couple months. it is good to hear from you.
Go and do as God leads you BJ, with His and our blessing. Just glad to know you’re doing well.
Early morning is my time by nature. I have this uncanny ability that if I need or want to be up at a certain time I will awaken almost 100% of the time about five minutes before the alarm. I set the alarm just in case because I usually have a reason for being up at that particular time. The early hours are my best for concentrating. God seems to speak more clearly during those quiet times.
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Beautiful post. Great outlook on life. I loved : I am not a natural morning person but by discipline 😇
For me I am very much a morning person. Have always been. As a student I used to get up very very early to read. And now I love the stillness and the beauty of the mornings ❤️❤️
Amen. He is an all the time and on time God. Giving the first fruits of our day to Him blesses us.
It seems the only way I can ‘rise with the lark’ (with no alarm clock) is when I am sleeping in a tent, as I discovered throughout my recent camping trip, that and going to bed at sunset. I really enjoyed this routine, it felt so right. Besides pitching my tent in the garden I’m wondering how I can achieve this now I’m home.
Amen to sunrise. For in the light of the Son is life. We were meant for light not darkness.
I have missed your writing. I’ve also become an early morning person for the same reasons. I need to add in the last thing at night reflection. Thank you.
Thank you, The River Walk. Words of inspiration that glow with thought and feeling. You are open with your heart and that is strength. I honour that. Thank you for your healing words. Blessings, Will.