Wednesdays with Jillene: before daybreak

When was the last time you were happy excited overjoyed to wake before the dawn?

It’s an often heard exchange between my husband and I, that when I reference an early time in the morning like, 4:30 a.m. or 5:45 a.m… that he will reply, “I don’t know what you’re talking about. There is no such time in the a.m.”

And, truth be told, for the last several months I’ve been having trouble with my morning wake up. The alarm goes off and I still feel exhausted! And I’ve been falling into the terrible habit of thinking, “just 5 more minutes!” The result? Well, I haven’t been late but I haven’t had the few extra minute in the mornings I’ve needed.

That is, until 2 days ago… 5:20 a.m. came and I was wide awake, feeling rested and ready to face the day.

Because of this book I’ve been reading, I didn’t check my phone or dawdle on social media but instead hit the day running with (an albeit, short) prayer and got moving.

Then this morning, as I had PLENTY of extra time to really dive in to my morning scripture before Cowen staff breakfast devotions, I was hit with a realization that almost made me want to head back to bed and try the day over… with even more joy.

This scripture, Mark 1:35… I can’t count, honestly can’t count the number of times I’ve read it, spoken on it, written on it… and yet this morning, let me tell you: God met me and spoke right to me through that verse.

Before daybreak the next morning, Jesus got up and went out to an isolated place to pray.

Mark 1:35

In one of those moments when head-knowledge and heart-knowledge collide with the Spirit revealing truth from the Word… well, I had myself a true thin moment!

Here’s what hit me:

We have a crazy, mind-blowingly joyous privilege! We can and God wants us to pray. 

Hear this, the all-powerful, all-knowing, ever-present God of the universe wants us to talk with Him!

[Here is where things turned serious for me this morning.]

and yet…

(oh those dangerous words)

We have this enormous privilege and amazing opportunity with the Lord and yet… we’re too busy, we forget, our day is too full, something else came up, we weren’t sure what to say… we.just.don’

Think of how often you’ll set an alarm…. wake up early in anticipation… plan ahead to make time… stay up all night to buy tickets… schedule your week or change your plans to see the Avenger’s movie premier… whatever it is…  and yet, think of how often you will choose to rise before daybreak and with joy spend time in the Lord’s presence!

Destination satisfaction is the insidious temptation to always look to the next big/good/satisfying thing to give you happiness, joy, fulfillment. Often we look forward to the weekends, vacation, a promotion, a new opportunity, even just sleeping in… as that something else that if we can just have it then we will be happy. Yet, while these destinations give us temporary happiness they cannot build the character of joy in our lives. Why? Those destinations always come to an end and we are left with the mundane routines of every day living while reliving fading memories and pursuing the next destination in which to find satisfaction.

Friends, we have the ultimate destination satisfaction available to us: communion with the Lord.

God’s presence is always with us; the time is always right to pursue with eager joy God!

I said it to the staff this morning, “If the Holy Spirit didn’t simultaneously convict you and fill you with joy over this… you might want to check your pulse to make sure you’re still alive! J/K… but so serious at the same time.”

So, this begs the question, what difference will this make in how you live today and wake up tomorrow?



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