I am not a morning person. Never have been, probably never will be. Waking up early has simply never come naturally to me for as long as I can remember. But I’m convinced that God must be a morning “person” — and that He wants to make you a morning person, too.
When I got married, I was thrilled to discover that my husband was not a morning person either. On weekdays, we woke up at the last possible minute to squeeze in showers, making coffee, and getting to work on time. On weekends, we’d sleep through most of the morning if we didn’t have plans. Early morning devotions never crossed my mind, because there were no children yet to distract me from reading the Bible or spending quiet time with the Lord any other time of the day once I was home. So that’s what I did.
Even when we started our family, and my friends promised me that I would never sleep in again and would have to rise early to get a moment of peace, guess what? They were wrong. In fact, none of my three daughters are natural early risers. To this day, we are a family of “night owls” who take forever to get going in the morning but are highly productive and creative in the evenings. So I maintained my position that there was no need to carve out quiet time in the morning. If that were the case, God would have given me an early riser by now to force me out of bed, right?
Time after time, when a wise Godly woman would share the vitality of her early morning quiet time with the Lord, I cringed a bit. What is the deal with early mornings? I’m just fine connecting with God in the evening, or whenever I can find time. After all, I am not a morning person.
However, all those years of springing out of bed with just enough time to react to the first activity of the day was slowly, surely wearing me down. I was becoming a tightly wound, anxious, reactionary woman who was letting the day rule me instead of God ruling the day. Apparently, a few minutes of Bible reading and saying a quick prayer before bed the night before was not cutting it, and it was becoming more obvious as life’s struggles became increasingly difficult.
Last year, I went through one of the most spiritually challenging times in my life. I began to learn about the battle for our minds, and what it means to “take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ” (2 Cor. 10:5) and to “guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:7). And this battle starts the minute you wake up and consciously begin your day.
I finally understood why God wanted to meet me in the morning. Why this time was so precious to the wise women who had learned this lesson before me. And why God’s Word is filled with references to the significance of the morning:
“Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every MORNING… ” — Lamentations 3:22-23
“You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up [in the MORNING].” — Deuteronomy 6:7
“Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the MORNING.” — Psalm 30:5b
“And in the MORNING, rising up a great while before day, He went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.” — Mark 1:35
These are just a few of many examples of God at work with His people in the morning — EARLY in the morning in most cases! I challenge you to do a Bible search for the word “morning” and see what you discover.
Once I began a new routine of spending time with God first thing in the morning, my days radically changed. The problems didn’t go away, but the negative, anxious, stressful, and fearful thoughts that warred with my desire to handle it God’s way did start to go away. Little by little, I was regaining territory in the battle for my mind, and I was beginning to see my days and the obstacles that lay before me in a whole new light.
When you start your day by filling your mind with God’s Word, with His Truth, those old thoughts don’t have a leg to stand on anymore. You’re able to put God in the driver’s seat where He belongs, rather than allowing that day to run all over you. You’re making a conscious choice about how you will view your day, which prepares you to recognize God’s gifts and His grace and hold onto them tightly so that the daily challenges won’t continue to sweep you away.
I know mamas are busy. We’re time-pressed, we’re tired. We have never-ending “to-do” lists and lots of reasons not to add one more thing to that list. However, starting your day with God and meditating on His truth does not have to become a new project. It doesn’t have to be an hour-long, organized, mapped out, journaled, out-of-bed experience. It’s about the intent, not the execution. It’s about you and God connecting; it’s about starting your day with the right perspective.
It might be five minutes, fifteen minutes, or an hour…or two. It might be reading a chapter of the Bible, a one-page devotion with a key verse, or more, or less. You might journal or you might not. You might sing out loud or you might listen quietly. You might wake up at sunrise or (like me) just 15-30 minutes earlier than you do now. Let God lead you in those details and point to what it is that you need in this moment in time.
But this I do know (now): God wants to meet you in the morning. If you’ve resisted as long as I did, don’t wait another day! His mercies are new every morning. Joy comes in the morning. Receive what God wants to give you each and every morning. Start now!