I wake up early….usually anywhere between 3:45 and 5:00 am. Early o’clock in the morning I like to call it.
Not because I have a bad dream. Or hear something. Or am particularly worried about anything. Sometimes I have to pee, but that’s probably TMI.
And rarely does it ever involve falling back asleep. How do people do that anyway? Although some days I’ve been known to try it.
In order to get enough sleep so I’m not walking around in a tired stupor all day, I have to sleep in on the front end. Go to bed early. Is there life after 9pm?
My daughter asked why we never go to the drive in movies. Ummmmm…they don’t start until it gets dark outside and I’m always fast asleep by then. I’m more of a matinee girl myself.
Most days I don’t fight it. I get up, grab my Bible and my journal, turn on the tea kettle and (in the summer) head out to my porch swing. Although this morning, it’s WAY too cold for that. It’s only 51 degrees outside on July 3rd. Who turned off the heat?
So here I sit, under a blanket in my favorite reading chair with my fluff-faced pup, watching the sunrise through the window and starting the day with one of my faves.
My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with Me.” And my heart responds, “Lord, I am coming.” (Psalm 27:8)
And as I sit on my swing (or in my chair) in the still quietness of the morning, He does speak. Usually. Sometimes through my daily Bible reading plan. Some days through my other reading. I love the gospel of John. And 2 Timothy. And Luke. And Acts. And the History Books.
Okay – I love the whole thing. Don’t get me started on the prophets. I have a whole blog post ready to go about why we need to read the prophets.
Sometimes He whispers His peace and comfort and love and strength and grace into every fiber of my being.
And then some days…..nothing. Nothing but faith. I just know by faith He’s with me. Not because I hear something or feel something but because He promised He always would be.
“I’ll never leave you or forsake you.”
“I will send you another comforter – He will be with you and will live in you.”
“Behold, I am with you, even to the end of the age.”
It’ll be 26 years this coming August since I began this journey with Him. Since I heard for the first time, “Come talk with Me.” Since He became not just my Savior but my Lord. And trust me – there’s a difference.
There’ve been times of plentiful sunshine in all those years. Lots of them. Fond memories. Amazing times where I’ve looked around and thought, “I’m living the dream.”
But I’ve also spent more time than I care to remember in the storm cellar, wondering, “Where is the dream? I know I had one but I can’t see it anywhere.” Wondering if the F5 that was ripping through my life would tear the door off and finally get the best of me.
But the door always held.
And I’m so thankful.
The Name of the Lord is a strong fortress; the righteous run to Him and are safe. (Proverbs 18:10)
So here I sit again, at early o’clock in the morning and watching the sun start to peek over the neighbor’s tree and make the dew on my hostas glisten like diamonds, writing. Musing. Remembering. Nostalga-ing.
And my heart is bursting with love – from Him and for Him. And sweet peace. And I just know my roots have gone down just a little deeper into Him.
I almost didn’t get right up this morning. I almost rolled over and pulled the covers up and tried to recapture the dream I was having. And that would have been okay with Him. He’s there whether I get up at 4:00 or 5:00 or 10:00 or noon. (Wouldn’t that be nice?)
He wouldn’t have been mad at me. This time is for me. And I’m so glad that I didn’t roll over. If I did, I would’ve had to go straight to the shower when I did get out of bed and I’d have missed out on the sweetest most intimate time in His presence. And that’s worth more than any old hour of sleep to me.
Don’t get me wrong. I love sleep. And I had a friend one time who when her kiddos were small got to get away to a conference overnight. When I asked her in the morning how she slept, she said, and I quote, “I barely slept. I didn’t want to miss out on a single minute of being all alone.”
I thought she was crazy at the time, but that’s how I felt this morning. He’s more refreshing than sleep. More relaxing than the sound of rain. More constant and satisfying than the sound of the ocean’s waves.
You might be a morning person or a night person or a middle-of-the-day person. Whatever you are, let me encourage you. Don’t neglect His presence for the busy-ness and work that can press in on you. It’ll all still be there waiting for you. Trust me on this.
His presence truly is heaven, and I don’t want to miss out on one single minute of it.