” Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days. Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us, for as many years as we have seen trouble (Psalm 90:14,15).”
This morning I woke up at 5:51 am. That’s not unusual for me because lately I have been working a lot. However, I am on vacation now.
When I awoke, I had just had a very restless night sleeping with my two boys in a tent. The tent was set up on some hard, pebbly ground and the pad underneath my sleeping bag wasn’t much help. So I tossed and turned all night.
I figured I might as well get up. So I walked out into the fresh air of the forest around me and sat on a picnic table to watch the sun rise. The mountain we were on is covered with tall trees, and the canopy prevents a clear view of the sun until it is high in the sky. Still, I was able to catch the strong rays coming through the leaves.
We were alone in this campground because it is early in the season and this place is not that popular. So it was very quiet, except for a strong breeze sounding through the trees and a cacaphony of birds singing.
I felt called to get up from the picnic table and take a walk, so I headed down a connecting trail, went up another trail on the mountainside, and sat on a huge log. Here, the sun was quite bright and I could see some of the opposite ridge line. It was beautiful.
This was one of those rare mornings for me of late: a time out in nature praising God. That’s what I felt led to do as I sat on that log. The sun shone in my face, and I felt not only warmed by it in the cool morning, but also touched for a short time with what I can only believe was the warmth of God’s Spirit.
I sang an old hymn that came to mind. I couldn’t remember all the words, but I could recall some.
“Heaven came down and glory filled my soul
When at the cross my Savior made me whole
My sins were washed away
And my night turned to day
When heaven came down and glory filled my soul.”
I hadn’t thought of this song in years. The Spirit of God must have brought them to mind because at that moment, for some.brief seconds, my time on that hillside was heavenly. Heaven had come down. Through the gloom of my day-to-day trials, God was telling me,”It’s not about you. It’s all about Me.”
The Scriptures tell us that nature is there to testify to God’s majesty. The sun I was marveling at is not to be worshipped in and of itself, as some men have done, but it is a reminder of God’s greatness. He created the most important body in our solar system to sustain us (Psalm 19:1-6). The surrounding mountains I reveled in testified that little ole’ me was insignificant compared to the eternal God, who created them (Psalm 90:1-6).
God created the cycle of days. The sun rises and sets every day. Some days are wonderul, others are mundane. Unfortunately, many days can also be terrible ones. As a result, a lot of mornings can be depressing and filled with anxiety concerning the days ahead,
This particular dawn God graciously gave me a message: “I love you, and if you want true life, be satisfied in Me.” Jesus said that He is the bright morning star (Revelation 22:16,17). He fills our thirst like nothing else can.
The Beach Boys sung of a man who remembers his lost love, and how the recollection was like the “warmth of the sun” all day and all night long. His love for this woman was eternal:
What good is the dawn
That grows into day
The sunset at night
Or living this way
For I have the warmth of the sun
Within me at night
My love’s like the warmth of the sun
It won’t ever die.
The same can be said for God’s love for me and you. It is like the warmth of the sun, and it won’t ever die. It is the warmth of the Son.
My prayer is that I experience that warmth every morning for the rest of my life, just as I did today. I had to come off that mountain to live in the valley today, but there’s no reason why life has to be as cold as it has been. Jesus is there to greet me every dawn from here on out, just as he did on that mountaintop this morning.