Rise and Shine

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As I have grown up in the outdoors, I have many great memories camping and hunting in the wilderness. Some of the greatest times have come late at night around a campfire or early in the morning as the sun rises. I have woken up to the birds chirping in the trees and to a still, quiet lake covered in fog. Those times in the mornings have a special place in my heart.

We often hear of successful business-people or heroes of faith waking up in the wee hours of the morning to do their work or pray. This starts to raise the question, “Are mornings worth examining?” Is there something special about mornings? Have these people found the secret to success? I think it is worth investigating!

Throughout the Bible, several key individuals used mornings to accomplish incredible things. Abraham rose early in the morning as he followed God in faith to sacrifice his promised son. Moses rose early in the morning to meet with God on Mt. Sinai and receive the second set of 10 Commandments. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary found the empty tomb as they went about early in the morning. And even Jesus retreated to a quiet place very early in the morning to spend time with his father.

These characters seemed to have discovered the secret too. So, what is so special about mornings? What about mornings allowed these people to accomplish these great things in God’s story? I think two things set these examples apart:

The first is the fact that mornings are quiet and still. They give us the chance to focus on important things before the bustle of the day sets in. Our minds being fresh, can focus fully on whatever we choose. It is hard to not focus on God in the morning, when we are rested, because we see his beauty all around us.

The second thing that sets these examples apart is the people in them. Maybe you could say that they recognized that mornings are quiet and focused or that they were just smart to do their movement before the Middle-Eastern sun rose, but what we can surely look to is their character. God chose these people and they followed him. Abraham started the nation of Israel and trusted God enough to sacrifice his promised son. Moses was set apart and God used him to deliver that same nation. And the Mary’s had faith in who Jesus said he was. These people had faith in God, so they displayed their trust by rising early in the morning to follow him. Mornings are not set apart in and of themselves, but these people chose to set them apart.

Knowing this about these stories, it is now worth us looking at our own lives. What do we do with our mornings? It is easy for a morning to slip away and get sucked into the rest of the day. But we have seen that is valuable to set them apart. Will we follow the example of these godly men and women or will we let our mornings slip away?

There isn’t a secret to discover, or anything “holy” about them – just a decision.

It is hard to not focus on God in the morning, when we are rested, because we see his beauty all around us.

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Mitch Raup

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