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. (Morning Has Broken, Eleanor Farjeon 1881-1965)
Praise…it’s really such a simple thing to give God His worth, to open the mouth and speak words that confirm how wonderful He is. And He really is! But, praise is such a difficult thing when the heart doesn’t feel it. I know from personal experience that I don’t always have a song of praise for God in my heart. When I’m weighed down by many cares I’d rather cry than sing. When my soul is burdened and my spirit crushed I’d rather withdraw in solitude than face the world. When tears flow more freely than the fruit of my lips I find myself entering a very dark night.
I’ve had seasons when God seemed far away, seasons when He has been so silent I’ve found myself begging Him for a word, “God! Please talk to me because I can’t stand it when You don’t talk to me!”
I’ve had seasons when God seemed absent, seasons when I’ve faced one trial after another and found myself begging Him for relief, “God! Do you care? Please, help me because I can’t stand another minute of this!”
I’ve had seasons of wandering, when I seemed to be floundering with no direction, no vision, no map for my life. Wandering along purposeless. Feeling useless.
I’ve had seasons of desertion, when I seemed to be stuck in the desert with no rain to quench my thirsty soul, no manna to feed my hungry heart, no trees to shade my shriveled spirit. Prodding along hopeless. Feeling helpless.
Praise…are you kidding me? When the clouds don’t pass, the storms don’t cease, the darkness won’t lift? Yes. Praise. Even when I don’t feel it. Even when I don’t want it. Even when I may not mean it. Because deep down, where God’s Spirit lives and breathes in me, I know He’s there. In that awful place where I know how very much I need Him, where I understand how desperate I am for Him. Like an early morning riser caffeine-driven because of poor, fitful sleep, I crave the presence of my God because I know He’s the only One who can break through the clouds.
Morning has broken…
“You are my Lamp, O Lord; the Lord turns my darkness into light..” 2 Samuel 22:29
Whatever the dark night of the soul really is, I know that God can open prison doors. I know that He breaks through walls of bronze and gates of iron. I know He lifts burdens from weary souls and heals those who are crushed in spirit. I know He can speak to me in the silence and He can walk with me through the trials. I know that if I press on through the darkness there’s a beautiful dawn waiting for me. Because just as I need the darkness to remind me of how much I need Him, I know He will give me seasons of refreshment, too. Where fellowship with Him is so sweet that I soak in His Presence, feed on His Word, and drink from His River of delight. I call them garden seasons, where God walks with me on dew-drenched grass in the cool of the 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. (Morning Has Broken, Eleanor Farjeon 1881-1965)
God is ever passing my way. It doesn’t matter what season I’m in. His feet never pass me by. He never takes His eyes off of me. He never abandons me. He never misplaces me. His Word tells me so. This is my hope. This is my help. This is my song of praise.
Praise…I’m not kidding. In all seasons. Because dark seasons do not last forever and God is faithful in season and out of season.
“He has put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the Lord.” Psalm 40:3
How easy it is to praise God when things are good, but when I can say, “I will still trust You, I will still praise You, I will still love You,” when things seem bad I believe I’m giving Him one of the greatest gifts I can give…the sacrifice of praise.
When the clouds have rolled away and the rains have ceased and I’m blinded by the light of His glory I know every trial, every burden, every tear I’ve shed has not been in vain. I want my faith to be so real that it clings to the presence of God even when He seems far away. I want my faith to be so pure that it waits in expectation for God to speak when He seems silent. I want Him to find me faithful. I want Him to find me trustworthy. I want Him to find me in praise because one day the dark night gives way to dawn and morning will break…it’s there that He greets me. He revives my heart, refreshes my soul and renews my spirit. I open my mouth and confirm how wonderful He is. And, I realize…that all along…when I praised Him even when I didn’t feel it, I really did mean it.
“…weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.” Psalm 103:5b
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! (Morning Has Broken, Eleanor Farjeon 1881-1965)