Are you going through a difficult season of life right now?
Wondering if circumstances will ever improve or that big, hairy, audacious prayer will ever be answered?
Are you losing heart?
Then please join me in a simple exercise. I’ve found this to be wonderful reminder of the truth that it is “darkest before the dawn.”
At first, all you will see is darkness.
Then, depending on your view, you will see the outline of black trees against a deep sapphire blue sky. Appreciate that beauty.
Before you know it, the birds will start singing.
Slivers of light will peek through the trees. Depending on the weather, you might see shades of pink and lavender in the morning sky.
And in a very short period of time, the world will look very different.
The darkness is gone. And a new day is before you.
What a metaphor for life.
Here are five lessons I’ve taken away from these times of early-morning stillness:
1. Nothing lasts forever. Even if you are in the midst of a very painful period, don’t lose heart. As you wait, keep praying. As you listen for God’s still, small voice, your perspective will change. You will see things differently.
2. Morning is coming. As the Psalmist says: “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.” When you are in the midst of a season of deep grief or disappointment, it’s hard to believe that life will ever get better. But when you watch a new day dawn, you will be reminded that just as night gives way to day, your period of darkness is not permanent. Joy is coming.
3. Beauty exists everywhere. The deep blue of the sky before dawn is more exquisite than the finest sapphire. Take that in. The black outline of the trees against that sky is lovelier and more intricate than the most beautiful lace. The sunrise song of birds is wonderful music. And then, the sky at sunrise…it is breathtaking. Open your eyes and see the beauty around you. Similarly, even in a painful season of life, amazing beauty exists if you look for it.
4. Fact trumps feeling. Some days, I feel like a heart with arms and legs attached. So I understand the challenge of being driven by feelings. It’s a constant struggle for me. That’s probably why watching night give way to morning is such a good reminder for me. Because I’m reminded of the truth that morning ALWAYS follows night. Spring ALWAYS follows winter. And no season of pain or waiting lasts forever.
5. Activity is an addiction. The first time I tried just sitting and watching and listening, I nearly jumped out of my skin. I wanted to be “doing.” I at least wanted to grab a pen and a journal or do something “productive.” But I pressed through and forced myself to be still. And in that time of stillness, I eventually experienced an amazing closeness to God.
Try it! Break up your routine. Force yourself to be still. Watch night give way to day.
You’ll be amazed.
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