I find the early morning sunrise to be one of my favorite times of the day. It comes early around these parts in the summer...around 6 a.m. Since I'm usually up preparing my husband's lunch for work, I often miss the actual breaking of dawn.
But not today.
I felt an unusual urge to get up and read my Bible this morning at a very early hour. It's unusual because on Fridays, my husband is off work and we typically "sleep in" on Friday mornings since Saturdays tend to be a frenzy of preparation for Sunday's services at church. But for some reason, I couldn't sleep and decided to obey the prompting I felt within me.
I turned in my Bible to today's reading: Psalm 16.
Preserve me, O God: for in thee do I put my trust. O my soul, thou hast said unto the LORD, Thou art my Lord: my goodness extendeth not to thee; But to the saints that are in the earth, and to the excellent, in whom is all my delight.
I have no good beyond the Lord. God is my help, my portion, my joy, my all in all. I am more to Him than a drop in the ocean of humanity, I am a result of His individual love and care. Exercising my faith has to be more than a momentary act, it must be a habitual practice of my heart and mind.
The LORD is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup: thou maintainest my lot. The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage. I will bless the LORD, who hath given me counsel: my reins also instruct me in the night seasons. I have set the LORD always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.
God is always faithful, even when I am not. He has given me exactly what I've wanted and more than I ever deserved, and has not deserted me in my times of frustration. May I remember to rest in God's hiding place in the heat of burning trials and know that this is not His final plan.
Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope. For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.
What a blessing it is to be altogether saved from the power of death and the grave. The paths I travel in this life may be winding and long, and even lead me through the valley of the shadow of death...but He is faithful to carry me through the hard times. I know that the end of the journey will result in beauty that I cannot even begin to imagine.
As I contemplated those verses, the sun began to peek up over the trees and filled the heavens with the most glorious and beautiful colors. The rays streamed through the huge flowering crape myrtle in the front yard, spilled across the deck, and filtered in through the window to touch my feet, and slowly enveloped my entire body. I felt warm and safe and protected, as though His arms were wrapped around me, letting me know I was still His child and nothing would change that.
Yes, the sun came up as usual this morning...but this time, I was awake and looking for it.