It is no surprise to me that I am up at 5:30 am writing this blog. Early, you think? Yes and no! You see, early is relative. It may be early in the morning, but it is late in the week that I am writing to you. So late in fact, that it’s ironic that I would even choose to write about such a word! This morning I began to feel like the rabbit from Alice in Wonderland with his timepiece in hand, running frantically down the trail, chanting aloud, “I’m late, I’m late…”
Proverbs 2: 1-5
“My son, if you will receive my words
And treasure my commandments within you,
Make your ear attentive to wisdom,
Incline your heart to understanding;
For if you cry for discernment,
Lift your voice for understanding;
If you seek her as silver
And search for her as for hidden treasures;
Then you will discern the fear of the Lord
And discover the knowledge of God.”
I’m sitting in the dark. There’s nothing but a glow from the computer screen and the orange light peering through the windows from the streetlights. The sounds are few. A ticking clock. A few birds standing on the tree limbs right outside my front door, singing praise! The rhythm of my fingers clicking the keys, constructing words…phrases…sentences…paragraphs… Trying hard to create some sense from the random thoughts that continuously burst from my mind like a comet shower that zooms through outer space. “Focus,” I tell myself! “Listen.” God will not hide Himself from those who earnestly seek Him.
“I love them that love me;
and those that seek me early shall find me.”
Early. An interesting word, and one that I have given much thought about this week. There’s early childhood, early as relating to time of day, early in the week, month, year. Early detection, early maintenance, and in the Concise Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament, early can also mean on an animals shoulder or the upper part of the back; to rise early and get on one’s way. Hmm, interesting!
Of course what started this whole idea of early, was one morning this past week I actually had the opportunity to sit on the porch…early…and there was an early bird singing in the tree! The loveliest of music…and loud! Immediately my mind began to sing with him, “Early in the morning, my song shall rise to thee…Holy, Holy, Holy!”
I believe that creation sings for and to the Creator! But when I did a little research (inquiring minds want to know) on why do birds seem to sing the most in the morning, this is what I found:
Birds chirp to communicate, and you can blame that initial morning song on the males, who sing to announce that they are alive, alert and ready to defend their territory. Apparently, the earlier they make that announcement, the better.
Psalm 63:1 “…early will I seek Him…” What better way can you think of to announce to Satan that you are alive in Christ, spiritually alert and ready to defend and protect yourself from his fiery darts? Declare it early, as in the first thing when you rise.
Lift your praise to the Lord!
“Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of Creation!
O my soul, praise Him, for He is thy health and salvation!
All ye who hear, now to His temple draw near;
Praise Him in glad adoration.
Praise to the Lord, who over all things so wondrously reigneth,
Shelters thee under His wings, yea, so gently sustaineth!
Hast thou not seen how thy desires ever have been
Granted in what He ordaineth?
Praise to the Lord, who doth prosper thy work and defend thee;
Surely His goodness and mercy here daily attend thee.
Ponder anew what the Almighty can do,
If with His love He befriend thee.”
Lyrics by Joachim Neander 1650-1680
Wow! I’m not sure I have simply read the lyrics to this great hymn. I suggest you take a moment to read through the words and savor the message. They will bless and encourage you! Click here to read then use your back arrow to come back to the blog. What a way to begin your day!
(IT’S NOW 7:30am GEESE JUST FLEW OVER HEAD…and boy were they LOUD!)
Early indicates a sense of preparedness. God knows what we have need of before we even ask. (Matt. 6:7) It doesn’t hurt to pray ahead of time. He wants us to ask that He may be glorified. I remember praying about my future husband. God provided in due time. Before we were ready to move into a house, I prayed that God would begin the process of preparing for us just the right place! He did! I am praying now for the path that lies in waiting. He will reveal. My car has 232,000 miles. I am praying early for Him to begin the process of providing us with what will best suit our lifestyle. He has always been faithful! Do not hesitate in seeking Him early. He promises that He will be found.
Come early, as a child…. And he said: "Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven." Matt. 18:3
As an elementary music teacher, I get to see and help kids explore and discover their musical talent. One division of my business is called Talent Spectacular! It is a fundraising program for schools via a talent show. Auditions are held and coaching is provided to help the chosen participants perfect their talent and be familiar with how to move about on the stage. There is such eagerness in these kids! No reserve! They jump in! I love the innocence and enthusiasm of children. Most kids I know are very trusting and their little spirit has not yet been quenched and squelched by the harshness of the world. We must come early, as children, with trust, zeal, passion, and eagerness to seek ALL that the Father has for His children. We are His chosen participants in this thing we call “doing life!” His job is to nurture us, coach us, and teach us how to move about on the stage of this earth. Oh that we would not be hindered and quenched by the wiles of the world. Let our performance (you know what I mean…presentation) be pleasing in His sight!
Early also denotes a sense of hope, beginning, and renewal. The resurrection story begins with Mary Magdalene (Matt. 28) and the other Mary, headed to the tomb of Jesus, early…before dawn! And it was early in the week…the first day, in fact! A type of beginning of time. Jesus is risen! What hope! What joy! The dawn of a new day, a new time, a new life in Christ. Because of this new day, we can have hope. Our joy is made complete in Him. Because of the Cross of Calvary, He can restore and renew us. We just need to ask and trust in Him.
I came across an interesting perspective this morning which referred to dead people as the “late” so in so… (late as in death and early as in alive!)
Likewise, “Life in Christ is like waking early, full of excitement, the world fresh with dew, and everything about to unfold. We are the early church. We have to allow such a view of ourselves to become real, and to shake off the slough of depression and fear that sometimes grips us. We are not dying; we are being raised to new life. There is no such thing as a dying church – the church in its reality is in fact always a place where people are waking up, coming to life. Otherwise, what is the Gospel? We are early Christians.”
“In the days before electric light and alarm clocks, people were simply woken by the dawn. We have made life much more complicated now. And perhaps we have done the same with faith. We worry about the future. We are tormented by worries about our own lives. We are anxious, as we must be, about the state of the world. But the wonderful thing about the dawn is that it always comes, sweeping away the darkness of night and offering a new beginning. The disciples must have thought that the cause of Jesus of Nazareth was well and truly over after the crucifixion – there could be no more decisive end. He was the late Jesus of Nazareth, sealed in a stone tomb, gone forever into the dark. But then, early on the earliest day, the dawn came and he was alive…” ref. Westminster College – Early (A Sermon for Easter Sunday)
There is great satisfaction for me when I am early. I love having my blog done way ahead of schedule (which is rare), I love completing tasks early, I love an early supper, early cup of coffee, early conversations, early confrontations before things get out of hand, early preparations, early birthday celebrations, and the more I think of handling things early, the more I realize that there is less of my procrastination; thus, less frustration! Less sadness and a happier heart! I love the quiet of the early morning and the freshness of a clear brain; and a heart that listens early for the voice of God before the clutter of the day begins to creep in. Whatever time you arise, seek Him first thing!
Early is often motivated by urgency! Meet with the Lord early; call on Him while He is near. Seek Him. Seek Him in the pages of His Word. Seek Him in all circumstances. Seek Him in His house. Seek Him among His people. Finally, seek Him on your knees and in your closet. Seek Him morning by morning with an expectant heart. He never tires of us. He is a loving God who desires a relationship with us, to commune with us, to carry us through all pain and suffering.
Psalm 5: 1-3
“Give ear to my words, O LORD, consider my sighing.
Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God, for to you I pray.
Morning by morning, O LORD, you hear my voice;
morning by morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.”
With all of this talk about early, let me make one thing clear. I am most certainly NOT talking about jumping ahead of God, His timing or His plans! It is my desire to make Him first in my life. Early in my day! To talk things over with him BEFORE I mess everything up and then have to repent and ask for forgiveness! May early mornings be motivated by the urgency to gain instruction for the day ahead, instead of being sorrowful of the day before, walking ahead of you.
I do believe that God desires time alone with Him. How often do we really, honestly, take time and invest pursuing Him?
We have an opportunity available for you to do just that! The Restore Retreat is designed with an intentional break, away from others, allowing you private time with God. We do need fellowship, fun, prayer, worship, and Biblical teaching, but mostly, our souls need nurturing from spending time with Him. Won't you consider joining us as we learn Biblical truths from John 13-15 and the gifts of abiding in Christ, just before He spent time alone in the garden of Gethsemane. Make plans early so you won't miss out. There is still room and the "earlybird" rate still applies!
Click HERE for more information. Don't miss the beautiful sunrise on the lake. Spend time with just you and God!
With an expectant heart, I'm seeking Him.
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