When I was a young person, I loved to sleep in. As a matter of fact, when I was in college, I tried to enroll in classes that started later in the day, and at work, I would volunteer for the late shift just so I wouldn’t have to get up early in the morning. I eventually got married, and my husband was in the military. I quickly learned that those people don’t sleep in much. Later, children came, and my days of sleeping ‘til noon were over. At the time, it was a hard transition, and I even felt angry about it.
Over the years, morning has become my favorite time of the day. And not just morning but early morning. You know the time of day—when it’s barely light outside and all the motion has stopped. There’s little noise, and you can see steam rising from the ground. It’s like the earth is breathing. There’s a calm energy and a sense of renewal that greets you in that hour. Yes, that early morning. It is in that space that I love to dwell.
If you are one of the fortunate ones who has been given a love for gardening, early in the morning between dirt-filled rows you get to meet with God. It’s usually not a conversation but rather a presence. It’s calming and powerful. It feels as if you are on the brink of something. You observe small things and understand big things. Through eyes of understanding, you see what’s really important and what’s not. Mornings are special. They represent a fresh start full of hope and possibilities every single day.
Seeing the potential, feeling the optimism and connecting with God takes effort and intentionality. It doesn’t just happen, but it can literally change your life. In the stillness of that hour, we are reminded of God’s promise to us that His mercies are new each morning, and that if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. It’s not like a hot morning shower that cleanses our bodies but a deep, soul cleansing kind of clean. Real forgiveness—the kind that allows you to not only start over but to run with endurance.
It’s super simplified, but I heard a pastor once say that righteousness is “being right with God” through the sacrifice of Christ. What Jesus did on the cross allows us to be right with God. In today’s culture, there’s a high priority to live in a manner that seems right in our own eyes. Prov. 14:12 tells us, “There is a way which seems right to a person, but its end is the way of death.” This is our natural tendency, and I’m guilty of it myself. We have to stop and make the time and find the spaces that allow us to refocus and remember what is truly right. The early morning hour is the perfect time and space.
Many times, in the spring when we are planting our gardens, we will use the mornings to put out a lot of tomato and pepper plants. We take them out of the warm greenhouse where they have been grown and pampered and stick them into the new soil. We stake them and trellis them, and when we’re finished, they look a little wilted. They look fragile and weak. We water them in real good and give them some protection from the wind, and by evening they are standing up tall and straight and looking ready to grow.
The same applies to us. When we greet the morning tired, fragile, weak and wilted, God meets us there. He stakes us with His might, trellises us with His promises and protects us from the winds that are coming to blow us that day. He waters us in real good with the washing of the water of His Word, and by the time we’ve gone to school, gone to work, taken care of our families and completed our daily tasks, we realize that we are standing up tall and straight and ready to continue growing in the Lord.
“David the son of Jesse declares, the man who was raised on high, the anointed of the God of Jacob and the sweet psalmist of Israel, declares, ‘The Spirit of the Lord spoke through me, and His word was on my tongue. The God of Israel said it; The Rock of Israel spoke to me: “He who rules over mankind righteously, who rules in the fear of God, is like the light of the morning when the sun rises, A morning without clouds, When the fresh grass springs out of the earth from sunshine after rain.” Is my house not indeed so with God? For He has made an everlasting covenant with me, properly ordered in all things, and secured; For will He not indeed make all my salvation and all my delight grow?’” (2 Sam. 23:1-5).