In his book “Simple,” author Robert Morgan talks about a little boy who said to his parents one morning, “I am not going to get out of bed until I see Jesus.” The father was naturally perplexed until the little fellow pointed to a picture on the wall, which was obscured by the early morning shadows. It was a picture of Jesus. He didn’t want to get out of bed until sunlight from his window fell across the face of Jesus. The boy’s father later thought to himself, “None of us should start the day until we have seen Christ.”
That is good advice. None of us should run headlong into a busy day without first looking to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith (Heb. 12:1-2). None of us should turn our attention to the demands of the day until we are wide awake to God’s presence in us, God’s providence for us, and God’s provision to us (Psalm 57:7-9). The boy was right, before we look at the face of man, let us look into the face of God and be reassured that He will never leave us or forsake us, that nothing will separate us from His love, and that He can supply all our needs in Christ Jesus (Heb. 13:5-6; Rom. 8:31-39; Phil. 4:19). Thomas Watson the Puritan agrees when he said, “The best time to converse with God is before worldly occasions stand knocking at the door to be let in. The morning is, as it were, the cream of the day. Let the cream be taken off, and let God have it. Wind up thy heart towards heaven at the beginning of the day, and it will go the better all the day after.”
This pattern and priority is modeled for us in Psalm 3:5 where we find David on the run from his son Absalom (2 Samuel 15-18; cf. 15:30-31). As King David rises that morning, he is conscious that many have risen up against him and participated in this rebellion along with Absalom (Psa. 3:1-2). The sweet psalmist of Israel is surrounded by bitter enemies and cruel circumstances. Yet, as David awakes, he is also conscious of the sustaining grace of God (Psalm 3:5; 55:22). David was able to relax in the most trying circumstances because God heard him and hid him in the presence of his enemies (Psalm 3:3-4). As he rises to face a new day, David asks God to arise and fight for him (Psalm 3:7-8; 68:1). Conscious of God’s presence, peace, and protection, David meets the day unafraid of the future or his foes. After all, if God be for us who can be against us (Psalm 3:5-6; Rom. 8:31).
As each new day dawns, we ought to go forward in the light of this psalm and the promise of God’s sustaining grace. Our prayer should be that of St. Patrick, who prayed: “I rise today through God’s strength to pilot me, God’s might to uphold me, God’s wisdom to guide me, God’s eye to look before me, God’s ear to hear me, God’s hand to guard me, God’s shield to protect me, God’s host to save me from snares of devils, from temptations of vices, and from everyone who will wish me ill, afar and anear, alone and in multitude.”
Begin each day wide awake to the reality of a God who neither slumbers nor sleeps in relation to His watch care over His people (Psalm 121). As soon as our eyes open in the morning, may our hearts be awake to God’s sustaining grace, past, present, future.