The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him. – Psalm 28:7
If you were to ask me to make a list of all of the things I like most about the Spring, it would be a very long list: the warmth of the sun falling on your back as you work outside, trees loaded with buds that blossom and turn to leaves, tulips filling the yard with color, the first fishing trip of the year, a warm breeze clearing out a house filled with the stale air of months of closed windows. In fact, open windows are probably at the top of my list of the things I like about this time of year.
I am not troubled with allergies and I like a cool room for sleeping, so open windows in the spring should be a no-brainer. But nighttime has proven difficult lately when it comes to leaving the windows open. It starts with my neighbors; nice people but they leave for work well before I need to wake up, making them the alarm and my clock merely the snooze button. But even they, along with their two kids and dog, are not the culprits that wreak havoc on my slumber. It’s the birds – starting around 3:30 am. A romantic would share with you how beautiful and quaint it is to be welcomed into the day by the songs of birds. A realist would say it’s the early bird who catches the worm. So what does that make me when I’d like to see those birds shut up until they dive bomb my noisy neighbors and let me get a little more sleep?
Of course, this provides me with the chance to think about things I would have never considered had I been allowed to sleep. Things like: so what time does first light actually occur? I know they can track sunrise because that’s a specific occurrence – the moment the sun appears on the horizon. But first light is far more difficult. Light moves to fill darkness – that’s what it does. So long before the sun appears, light has already entered the sky. And light is a relative term. Some might consider the light to be brighter than others (usually most prevalent at night when the golf opponent you are beating declares it too dark to finish the final hole, thus making it a draw). Truth of the matter is, it is nearly impossible to determine in a universally acceptable way when the light of day first appears.
Life offers similar questions. Think about how many things happen in our lives whose beginnings cannot be seen. At what moment did the first cancer cell develop? At what moment did your best friend turn into the love of your life and then when precisely did that love go sour? At what moment was youth replaced with maturity? At what moment did our temper take over, causing us to say and do irreparably damaging things?
Imagine if there was a way to recognize these moments. If so, would we be able to identify them and respond appropriately to them? Unfortunately, we too often see the results or the consequences well after the fact, unable to change course. And perhaps not knowing may be for the better. The knowledge of how something is going to end may alter the way we look at it and diminish the joy we experience along the way. Either way, we aren’t always able to know when those key moments occur. All we can do is respond accordingly; to put our trust in the strength of our God.
Psalm 28:7 directs us to place our trust in God. For some people, this seems foolish – a silly concept better suited for children who can more easily accept the reassurance of an omnipotent deity over a “real” explanation. Others who do believe will put their faith in God, but only when things are going great or when all hope is lost. Now consider living every day fully trusting in the love and strength of God; relying on Him to guide and direct you in every aspect of your daily life. We need not wait for the highs and lows of life to know the peace that comes from following God’s word and relying upon Him. It is available to us 24 hours a day.
Including the early morning hours as the birds help you seek the answers to life’s big questions.