When I was a kid, I remember always having to be woken up. I always dreamt of a time when I would be able to ‘sleep to stupor’ and only wake up when I was absolutely sure that every atom of tiredness in my body had been extinguished.
Reading the Bible and praying to God in the morning was never strange to me. I was born into a defined structure to which my Father was faithful, every morning I lived with Him. I always admired his consistency and diligence with praying and reading God’s word in the morning.
I recall when I was growing up how, if for some reason we had to travel in the early hours of the morning as a family (hence not being able to have our ‘devotions’ as we called it), the next morning, my Dad would insist on us taking the previous day’s reading first. This used to make me very upset. I would say to myself “what difference does it make? Why don’t we just read today’s meditation?” As a young boy who many times had to be roused from my precious sleep, all I looked forward to was returning to sleep. Therefore, I grew into a habit of enduring devotions so I could go right back to sleep.
Why was it that devotions felt like something I had to endure? The sad reality is that beyond the religious motions, I did not have the consciousness to see how crucial that time was and how important foundations were being laid.
When I became a teenager, the trend continued and even more so, as I was in a disciplined Christian Boarding School. I had to wake up many times before I wanted to. Yet, during the holidays I was able to sleep to my heart’s content.
In my 20s when I began to work, my mornings were constantly plagued with waking up in a frantic hurry, very disorganised and rushing to make it out on time so I was not late for work.
As you can imagine, I had a non-existent prayer life and couldn’t even get to do a daily reading of the Bible. Occasionally, I would manage to say quick prayers in attempts to ease the conviction I was feeling.
How are your mornings? Generally speaking, what are they like? I have found that my mornings have mostly been defined by seasons of life and circumstances I’ve been through.
Seasons such as being a child, becoming a student, graduating and getting jobs, getting married e.t.c. Circumstances such as having to work most nights, addiction to entertainment keeping me up late, having to wake up to pray with my family and lots more.
Unfortunately, for the most part, I was a zombie just getting through life; a ‘functional-sleeper’ of sorts.
UP and Down. Unpredictable
Fast-forward to present day I’m now 29, turning 30 in June. What are my mornings like today?
Some are slow. I wake up with little or no desire to get up, Pray, Read God’s word or do anything.
Some are great. I wake up energetic and optimistic about the day. I delight in prayer time and enjoy reading God’s word and off I go! with such enthusiasm to face the day.
Why are mornings so unpredictable? We can go to bed in a good mood and wake up feeling rubbish. We can get enough sleep, yet wake up wanting more. Many times we can wake up not desiring to spend time with Jesus before approaching the day.
Truth is, circumstances will always change as well as the seasons of our lives and many other variables (such as marriage or kids or a demanding job, or exams) will be added to the mix, making our mornings seem even more difficult to manage.
The Biblical Perspective That Is Revolutionising My Mornings
Before we make practical changes to our mornings, the way we think about them needs to change.
The way I saw my mornings had to change. This was so crucial for me. Ever since I paused to really reflect on what I’ve learnt about mornings all these years, I’ve found that it wasn’t ultimately down to the seasons of life and circumstances but the mind and understanding I had about mornings in general.
For me, the transformation began with this question: How does God want me to see every single morning? Regardless of my circumstances, state of mind or the degree to which my life is busy, what should be that unshakeable core which anchors my mornings to God’s purpose and glory?
Every sprinter who has participated in an official race must be familiar with these words:
On your mark, Get set; Go!
Translated to our mornings, this is how they should read:
On your mark: Wake up
Get Set: Meet with God, get your daily bread
Go: Approach and live out your day through God’s grace
Notice how important getting set is? Yet how often many of us leave it out. No wonder we go into the day defeated before it even begins!!
We need to wake up with the understanding that a new race has begun. We need to understand that God has made it possible for us to wake up and run. Yet, before we go, we desperately need Him. We need to sit at his feet and seek to be filled with Him. His fullness will help us run.
God being the awesome Father He is, has given us so many cues in His word to guide how we view each and every morning. Let’s take a look at a few, together:
In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice;Psalm 5:3
in the morning I lay my requests before you
and wait expectantly.
Can you resolve that God will hear your voice every morning? Can you prioritise this life changing fellowship with your heavenly Father?
But as for me, I shall sing of Your strength; Yes, I shall joyfully sing of Your lovingkindness in the morning, For You have been my stronghold And a refuge in the day of my distress.Psalm 59:16
Every morning is a glorious opportunity to praise our wonderful Father and reflect on the many ways His love has changed our lives. Will you sing of God’s lovingkindness every morning?
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.”Lamentations 3:22-24
God’s mercies are new every morning. What a gracious supply of love to us! There are many more cues all over the Bible you can find which express the need to see each morning an opportunity to delight in God.
Having considered the truths of His Word, I have come away seeing each morning as a beacon of hope; a new beginning and a priceless gift from God to me, to know His mercies and experience his grace. Regardless of how the previous day was and my past failures, I can know redemption and grace in the day ahead. His mercies are new every morning! Knowing this I can humbly ask him “give us this day our daily bread”. He provides bread daily, every morning; bread I need; bread to sustain and empower me for His glory!