As earth and our personal coordinates slowly turn toward the rising, warming sun, each dawn’s light brings a sense of change and hope- a new day, a new year, or a new era. Visions, understandings, and directions change as different ideas, realizations, and expanded possibilities develop. Yet, there is something reassuringly constant, something “primal”, underlying the breath taking wonder and soul touching beauty of a new day’s dawn.
In the early 1970’s, Cat Stevens popularized an old hymn whose lyrics captured the arrival of every dawn with a sense of the lingering freshness, purity, and glory of creation’s first morning:
“Morning has broken like the first morning/ Blackbird has spoken like the first bird/ Praise for the singing/ Praise for the morning/ Praise for them springing fresh from the word”
There it is! The faithful, sovereign hand and voice of God is seen and heard anew in every early morning light! “Praise for the morning” is given to the One who gives us each day, the One who speaks and creates miraculous and beautiful things. His word is “like a lamp shining in a dark place”. He is the One who “stretched out the heavens, laid the foundations of the earth, and formed the human spirit.” ( Zachariah 12:1) He continually speaks into our lives because He created and cares about our souls even to the point of taking our sinful natures and redeeming them through the sacrificial work of Christ on the cross.
All of us have experienced long “dark nights of the soul”, those journys through the darkness of despair, doubt, hurt, grief, and disappointment when relief seems so far away. The Psalmist experienced those emotions. He was distressed by earthly entanglements, diversions, and intrusions but found comfort in an enduring trust in God’s ultimate mercy and care. He learned that “weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning” and intimated that those dark moments serve a great purpose– that of an awareness for the need for courageous faith and for an appreciation of God’s presence, strength, and comfort. From God’s loving faithfulness, we discover the joy of relationship with Him. “ You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy, that I might sing praises to you and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give you thanks forever! (Psalm 30)
Had Cat Stevens recorded all the lyrics of Morning has Broken, we would have heard more about great hope in the sovereignty of God who established those “first” things so we could continually discover the fresh beginnings and good promises of each day.
“Sweet the rain’s new fall, sunlit from heaven/Like the first dew fall on the first grass/Praise for the sweetness of the wet garden/Sprung in completeness where his feet pass
Mine is the sunlight/Mine is the morning/Born of the one Light Eden saw play/Praise with elation, praise every morning/God’s recreation of the new day “( Eleanor Farieon, 1931)
God is the God of re-creation. Not only is He in the business of renewing days but also of imparting human spirits with new life through His grace and our belief. “In Christ He was reconciling the world to Himself, not counting men’s sins against them.” If anyone is in Christ, the old is gone, the new has come.” (2Corinthians 5:19,17) . Belief revives our spirits just as the dawn renews a day.
What a gracious, merciful God, who gives us this gem of a promise: “The faithful love of the LORD never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. (Lamentations 3:22-23)