Sunday, June 12, 2016

Joy comes in the morning

"...Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes in the morning." Psalm 30:5b

Sunrise on the beach at Cape San Blas, Florida

New mercies every morning, Grace for every day, New hope for every trial, And courage all the way. —McVeigh

One of the things I enjoy most is being able to walk barefoot along the beach in the wee hours of the morning. Usually, I'm all alone except for a few birds as we wait expectantly for the rising of the sun. As I walk along the shore, I spend time in prayer. That precious solitude is sacred to me. In reverent awe, I pause to reflect over my life and I am filled with gratitude. I watch the birds catching tiny fish in the surf as the sun peeks over the horizon. The sky begins to change from a dusky gray to a soft, pastel pink as the sun works its way up. I raise my 35mm camera to my eye and begin to shoot. Every few seconds the sky changes color. Robin's egg blue appears, then subtly changes into a rich orange as the sun rises higher. I feel like I'm witnessing a miracle each and every time the sun rises and I continue to snap away. My heart is full of excitement as the sky begins to blaze with brilliant oranges and reds. Sunrise only lasts a short while and then, without warning, it disappears and the sun is fully up. The colors have faded into bright sunlight and the day has begun. 

This morning, I woke up bright and early. It was just before 6:00 a.m. and I padded quietly across the carpet into my office so as not to wake my sleeping husband. As I slipped into my office, I saw through the blinds, the beautiful colors of sunrise over the tops of the pine trees. I'm thankful our faces East so I can see the sunrise every morning. Although it's not as visible as the ocean sunrises because of the tall trees, I still enjoy it. I sat for the entire show and thought about how much difference a day makes. Yesterday I was distraught and feeling physical pain. I went to bed hurting but this morning, I am rested and looking forward to what the day holds. 

When King David wrote, in the Holy Bible, that weeping lasts for a night but joy comes in the morning, I wonder what trials he went to bed facing that night. I flipped back a few pages and began to read in Psalm 28. David was being persecuted and being treated unfairly by his foes. He was crying out to God for help and asking for vindication. As I read the Psalms, I often find David's words mirror mine. Although the circumstances are vastly different, I can relate to David's heart. It amazes me how God loved David so and used Him for His honor. Once, David was a lustful, sinful man. He was so filled with desire for one of his soldier's wives that he had her husband killed so he could be with her and yet...God loved him and gave him a second chance. 

Sunrises speak to me of second chances. Weeping may last for the night, but joy comes in the morning. We may feel hopeless and helpless one day and the next morning, those feelings have disappeared with the night. Brilliant, beautiful shades of hope are on the horizon and we are renewed. I'm so thankful weeping doesn't last forever! Sometimes I feel like it might but it never actually does. 

My body still aches and my arms have already begun to swell but I'm learning this is part of my "new normal." I'm trying my best to focus on one day at a time and in so doing, I know each morning there will be a stunning sunrise just outside my window whether I'm at the beach or looking over the treetops. It's my choice to live with the hope of all the bright new tomorrows. Yes, weeping my last for a night, but joy does always come in the morning if we focus on how very much we're loved and treasured by God. 

Be thankful and look for the sunrises! You have to rise early to catch them. My internal body clock wakes me each morning in time to witness them but you might need to set your alarm a time or two so you can see their beauty. It's worth it, I promise! Be blessed today and be filled with hope! God loves you, you know. 

© bonnie annis all rights reserved

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