Wake up, my heart! Wake up, O lyre and harp! I will wake the dawn with my song.~Psalm 57:8 NLT
All the men in my family have loved to awaken the dawn.
My maternal grandfather awakened the dawn by sitting on the wrap-around porch of his old farmhouse and watching the sun rise above the pines that surrounded the neighboring fields. Then, he would either get into his old Chevy truck and check the farm or ride to town and sit around Bert’s store with other farmers—smoking, playing checkers, eating Nabs, and drinking Coke.
My paternal grandfather awakened the dawn too, but for a different reason. He was a delivery man—first ice, then milk, and finally ice cream. All required getting up early and getting on the road.
My son is now a delivery man also. He rises long before dawn to load his truck and head out to various stores.
My dad also loved to awaken the dawn. When I was quite young, he worked on a truck, delivering ice cream—which required early morning hours. But from the time I was six, he rose early for another reason.
Dad accepted God’s call to preach when I was not much older than kindergarten age. Every church-owned home we lived in had a study, or Dad turned one of the bedrooms into one—even if it meant my brothers had to share a room.
Into this study, Dad went at five every morning. For an hour or more, he prayed and read his Bible. We knew better than to bother him. If we opened the door and his eyes were closed, we learned to close the door and go about our business. This was his and God’s time. A sacred time.
I, too, have been awakening the dawn for quite some time. Even when I have no reason to get up early, I still do. No reason to lie in bed when I cannot sleep. I once followed Dad’s pattern of rising early to pray, meditate, and read my Bible. Although I now do most of those things at night, I still wake early. I use the morning hours to write, reflect, and build my social media platform. Still a sacred time.
The psalmist rose early as well. If we take the verse literally, he must have played his musical instrument as the early morning light spread across the pastures while he watched his father’s sheep. And later, as he ran from a jealous, angry king.
Some are not morning people, so it’s not a sin to meditate, pray, and read God’s Word at other times during the day or night. But it is something special about spending time with God in the early morning hours before dawn’s first light.
Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life.~Psalm 142:8 NIV
The early morning gives time to reflect on the things of the previous day and to ask God to prepare us for the day ahead. We might not know what the day holds, but we do know God holds the day. We need His wisdom. And as darkness turns to light, we can remind ourselves that we worship the mighty God who makes this happen and gives us a fresh start each day.
We can awaken the dawn in many ways, but incorporating some form of worship will change our perspective on the day.
What are some ways you can include God as you awaken the dawn?
Father God, I arise each day and thank You for guiding my steps. In Jesus’ name, amen.