But Joy Comes in the Morning

We are near the equator where day and night are given equal time. I awoke around 6 o’clock the first day, just after the sun rose. The next day, I rose a little earlier but still missed the sun rising. The next day, clouds covered the horizon.

This morning I was glad to wake at 5:30. Clouds lined the horizon, but not as many as the day before.

An hour later, I looked back on the photo I captured. My eyes are a bit sleepy following a later night and abbreviated sleep. I had also shed a few tears in our group debriefing at the close of our night. It was an emotional day.

I felt joy but also empathetic sadness. I recall many nights as I moved into adulthood, crying myself to sleep with a heavy, hopeless heart. The next morning, I would awake to the new day and for a fleeting moment, my situation had escaped my mind.

There may be pain in the night, but joy comes in the morning. -Psalm 31:5

During my early adult years, my early married years– problems didn’t solve themselves overnight. They often do not. I am reminded of that with my daughter’s current situation as she faces days with less certainty than she did the day before. I am reminded of those emotions as I think of the Belizian women God has introduced me to. Will their life ever become less burdensome this side of heaven? The children I work with in foster care or here in Belize– when you are in a dark place and you haven’t any light, someone has to meet you in that valley to guide you out. It’s best if it is Jesus or one of His advocates.

I’m at a proverbial fork in the road. I could write about codependency on people who help us from those dark places. But I won’t.

Today, I will focused on the sunrise and the joy of the morning.

Today, I will pray for the people rising up to face their day, only to roll over and pull the covers over their head. Reality is hopeless for them.

I will pray they are able to rise out of their situation to find something or someone to show them a glimmer of hope. I will pray they find hope through Christ Jesus and it won’t take them as long as it took me to see the mercy in each new day.

My reading took me to Lamentations 3 today. Markings in my bible tell me I’ve been here before. I used to leave my bible pristine so I wouldn’t be distracted by notes in the margins. However, I’ve learned they are important reminders that we need to revisit where we’ve traversed now and again to reinforce what we’ve learned.

I’m just an hour or so into the day and God has provided so many reminders of lessons learned.

Facebook showed me a quote I wrote in my studio a year ago that reads…

Knowledge: I know it.

Wisdom: I live it.

I opened my notebook up to find a handwritten reflection that eventually became the blog post on fostering hearts. A great reminder of the thoughts I had when we ‘allowed’ our daughter to fall in love with a missionary kid, despite the risks. I had to ask myself if I believe those words now that a piece of her heart may be gone. God only knows her future. I’m grateful the One with better perspective is at the wheel of her heart and mind.

I found a random Post-It note that appeared outside my cubicle the spring of my breaking and remolding, just months before my downsizing. My Christian coworker didn’t know where it came from so it is still a mystery. All it said was, Philipians 4:8. God knew I needed to be focused today on these words:

…fill your minds with beauty and truth. Meditate on whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is good, whatever is virtuous and praiseworthy.

As I’m writing now, a light rain started. My teammates called me to see a rainbow. A sign of God’s promise. How fortuitous that most of us are finishing our morning study of His word! And now there is a brilliant double rainbow!!

A Kansas song was in my head… “Hold on! Baby, hold on! I looked up the lyrics to share and each word is profoundly appropriate. Written by a Christian man, you will see faith rather than the relational symbolism if you read the words on the link (click on the word Kansas).

Along with the Word of God, this is the message I wish I could pass on to all those who I pray for this morning, including my own baby.

Yet another great revelation, my Christian sisters visiting South Padre Island replied to my sunrise post with their amazing sunrise–


Same day.
Same sun.
Same God.

Thank you, Padre, our Heavenly Father, for your promises and for your mercies that are new every morning!

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