While it was still dark… Mornings. You either love them or hate them. I am a lover of mornings and I will now gladly list some of the awesome things I enjoy about being up early in the morning. (For clarification, getting up sometime before noon is not early morning, ahem. Just sayin’.) I’m talking EARLY, anywhere from 4 to 6 a.m.
- Coffee. No need to add anything here. Enough said.
- The quiet. There is no one to bother you, no as-soon-as-I-rise-my-mouth-goes-96-miles-per-hour-with-incessant-questions in your ear. Just you and the quiet. And Jesus.
- Sunrise. This has to be one of the most amazing pictures God paints for us every single morning. Naturally, sunSET is just as spectacular but with the sunrise it seems it is just you and God, enjoying it together.
- Morning prayer. Early morning prayer. I am not one that thinks you can only pray early in the morning. Sometimes I might as well have waited until the afternoon because my eyelids won’t stay open and I am so sleepy it is anybody’s guess what I actually said to the Savior. Thankfully, He understands. But when I push through, there is nothing like starting your day with the Lord of the universe! It makes all the difference in the world. Before social media, before email, before television, the newspaper or even others if it is possible, give me Jesus because the chances of me getting the time later, or taking the time, are slim at best.
- Grocery shopping. Say what?! I am ever-so-grateful for 24 hour grocery stores. There is NO ONE there shopping at 6 a.m. I love that part. The drawback? There are also NO cashiers available, so if you have a full cart and $176 worth of groceries? You are going to be scanning those items one at a time at the self-checkout. Very frustrating but that could be an entire post by itself. I suggest going by Starbucks first and taking your coffee in with you for an extra treat. (I digress again, but did you know that some of the stores that have a Starbucks inside now have CUP HOLDERS for your grocery cart?!! What a great country!)
- Walking. This used to be my absolute favorite activity before the sun would rise. I would slip on those walking shoes and be out that door while the family was still relishing the last few minutes before the alarm would go off. Meeting my SIL at the end of the driveway, we would start our 3 mile trek, waking up the body as we went. Now, with spinal stenosis, bulging discs, sciatica and degenerative SI disease, walking is not in my daily routine. I miss it terribly.
I can seriously go on and on about the benefits of being up in the early morning hours but you get the picture. I am afraid if I don’t get up early I will miss something! Mary Magdelene thought that too. “Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene went to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb.” John 20:1 NKJV.
The Bible says she got there while it was still dark. Mary was an early morning person too and today was no exception. She was rewarded with being one of the very first to witness the empty tomb! She ran to tell Peter and the others and the Lord even appeared to her to confirm His resurrection.
Can you imagine being in Mary’s shoes? Seeing the empty tomb, the angel and knowing that your wildest dreams had actually come true? The Savior, the Messiah, did exactly what He said He would do and you were among the first to witness it?
As exciting as that was, it didn’t end there. Jesus still makes Himself available to US every single day, every single moment. He died on that cross for each of us and He rose again that third day so that we could also overcome death, hell and the grave.
The book of Lamentations tells us that the Lord’s mercies are new EVERY MORNING. We have another chance, all things are new! That blesses me every time to think I have a clean slate and when that sun begins to rise I can make it great (as my brother always says) or I can waste it.
Let us resolve, in these last days, to be like Mary Magdalene, not necessarily that we have to be up before dawn but that we be expectant, eager, anticipating what God has for us and for those around us. If we have spent time at His feet we will be able to hear His voice, as Mary did, and have a purpose to GO and tell others that He is alive!
Have a wonderful Resurrection Sunday with your family and friends. May you worship our Risen Savior with reckless abandon and humble adoration. He is coming again!