Joy Comes in the Morning!
Recently, I visited Colorado Springs for a speaking engagement and a few meetings with my publisher – and learned an amusing lesson. Steve, who works for my publishing company, and his wife picked me up from the airport on the evening that I arrived, and took me to dinner. We then headed to Glen Eyrie Castle and Conference Center, where I’d be staying during my trip. Before arriving, I had received a generous invitation from a staff member at Glen Eyrie to stay at no expense in the biggest and nicest room at their Christian retreat center nestled in the foothills near picturesque Pike’s Peak. The property, a castle built by a civil war general for his wife, established the city of Colorado Springs in the late 19th century.
I’d been told the location was beautiful, but it was dark when we arrived and upon proceeding through the gate, I began to feel a bit apprehensive. We drove along a winding road with no street lights and small, dark cottages sprinkled here and there. It seemed like the scene just before something crazy happens in a scary movie. We pulled up to the home I’d be staying in. It was just after 10:00 pm. One light was on in the house and I thought I saw a man sitting at a desk near a front window. We walked up to the large, ornate wood door with a heavy metal knocker. Taped to the center of the door was a note with “Valorie” scribbled on the outside and a key inside. It instructed me to the location of my room inside this bed-and-breakfast style cottage.
We walked through the foyer, then a long, stately dining room with a fireplace and seating for 14 people, and finally a vast living area with paintings of people I imagined were long gone. The lighting was nearly non-existent and as we proceeded through the house, I thought, “Where am I? Who else is in this house? Are the former inhabitants still ‘with us’?” I knew I was being silly, but the thoughts and questions were gaining speed. We arrived at my room – a spacious pink bedroom with a long, hall entryway, an antique canopy bed, living area, work area and a huge bathroom. Steve saw the apprehension on my face. And his wife looked a little apprehensive about leaving me there, too.
“You don’t have to stay here,” he assured me. “We can go to the Hilton right now if you want.” I gazed through one of the dozen, 10-feet high windows in the room. It was pitch black outside so I couldn’t see a thing. But I wasn’t feeling excited about staying.
“It was such a generous offer that I would feel terrible about coming here and then leaving to check into a hotel,” I said.
Just then, I heard a motherly voice call out, “Val-or-ie?” I turned to find a lovely, older couple – the home’s hosts – enter the room.
The husband, perhaps sensing a little tension by the way we were scoping out the room, said lightly, “Don’t worry. There are no ghosts here. It just looks like this because you came at night.”
A little embarrassed, I said, “Oh, I’m sure it’s lovely in the daytime,” hoping I was right.
The host’s wife proceeded to tell me a few things about the room and the house. She said something about an unconventional wake-up call at 5:30 am, but I thought she was kidding. “Good night,” they said before retiring to their room.
“Well,” I said to Steve and his wife. “I’ll stay tonight and let’s see how it goes.”
“I’ll be back to pick you up in the morning,” he offered, “Just pack your bags if you want to check into a hotel tomorrow, and we’ll take them when I pick you up.”
Uneasy, but undeterred, I readied for bed and decided that my apprehension was unfounded (but left the hallway light on for good measure).
Around 5:20 am, I was suddenly awakened by the sound of a woman laughing – well, kind of cackling. It was almost a giggle – little short, choppy bursts of laughter. The first time I heard it, I thought it was a bit strange. The second time, I thought, “Boy, something must really be funny.” I tried to go back to sleep, but she wouldn’t stop her funny little giggles.
“What could be that funny this early in the morning!?” I thought, now feeling a bit annoyed.
Then it occurred to me, the hostess warned me the night before that I would get a wake-up call around 5:30 in the morning – from wild turkeys gobbling outside. I jumped out of bed and looked outside, only to see huge, wild, black turkeys shuffling about on the lawn. In the background was a spectacular mountain view and I could see the edges of a large, stone castle peeking from behind the tall, evergreen trees on the property. The scene from the 12, expansive windows in my room was captivating. I took a deep breath of gratitude and inhaled the divine beauty of nature. Then I laughed at myself for my reaction the night before.
During my three days at Glen Eyrie, I took walks, meditated and enjoyed the scenic landscape and peaceful environment that surrounded me.
I gleaned a simple lesson from this story:
Sometimes, you have to persevere through the uncertainty of darkness to experience the beautiful vision that comes when light is shed on a situation. Things aren’t always as they seem, especially when we have a limited view.
In what area of your life are you apprehensive because you can’t see what’s coming? Are you ready to bail out quickly before you can see the whole picture? This week, I offer you a challenge: Refuse to allow irrational fears to pressure you into making hasty decisions – whether in your personal or professional life.
“… Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning,” Psalm 30:5 promises.
Stick around and see what God has in store before you take it upon yourself to “fix things.” When you finally see what morning looks like, you may just find you were in the right place all along.
Please Receive Him as Myself – Streams in the Desert – October 25
- 202125 Oct
Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full (John 16:24).
During the Civil War, a man had an only son who enlisted in the armies of the Union. The father was a banker and, although he consented to his son’s going, it seemed as if it would break his heart to let him go.
He became deeply interested in the soldier boys, and whenever he saw a uniform, his heart went out as he thought of his own dear boy. He spent his time, neglected his business, gave his money to caring for the soldiers who came home invalid. His friends remonstrated with him, saying he had no right to neglect his business and spend so much thought upon the soldiers, so he fully decided to give it all up.
After he had come to this decision, there stepped into his bank one day a private soldier in a faded, worn uniform, who showed in his face and hands the marks of the hospital. The poor fellow was fumbling in his pocket to get something or other, when the banker saw him and, perceiving his purpose, said to him: “My dear fellow, I cannot do anything for you today. I am extremely busy. You will have to go to your headquarters; the officers there will look after you.”
Still the poor convalescent stood, not seeming to fully understand what was said to him. Still he fumbled in his pockets and, by and by, drew out a scrap of dirty paper, on which there were a few lines written with a pencil, and laid this soiled sheet before the banker. On it he found these words:
“Dear Father: “This is one of my comrades who was wounded in the last fight, and has been in the hospital. Please receive him as myself. –Charlie.”
In a moment all the resolutions of indifference which this man made, flew away. He took the boy to his palatial home, put him in Charlie’s room, gave him Charlie’s seat at the table, kept him until food and rest and love had brought him back to health, and then sent him back again to imperil his life for the flag.
Light at evening time
By: Charles Spurgeon
“It shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be light.” Zechariah 14:7
God very frequently acts in grace in such a manner that we can find a parallel in nature. For instance, God says, “… as the rain cometh down and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, … so shall my word be, …it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” We find him speaking concerning the coming of Christ, “He shall come down like rain upon the mown grass: as showers that water the earth.” We find him likening the covenant of grace to the covenant which he made with Noah concerning the seasons, and with man concerning the different revolutions of the year—“Seed-time and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.” We find that the works of creation are very frequently the mirror of the works of grace, and that we can draw figures from the world of nature to illustrate the great acts of God in the world of his grace towards his people. But sometimes God oversteps nature. In nature after evening comes night. The sun has had its hours of journeying; the fiery steeds are weary; they must rest. Lo, they descend the azure steeps and plunge their burning fetlocks in the western sea, while night in her dark chariot follows at their heels. God, however, oversteps the rule of nature. He is pleased to send to his people times when the eye of reason expects to see no more day, but fears that the glorious landscape of God’s mercies will be shrouded in the darkness of his forgetfulness. But instead, God overleaps nature, and declares that at evening time, instead of darkness there shall be light.
For meditation: The text has only ever been true on one occasion in a physical sense (Joshua 10:12-14), but God, to whom even the darkness is light (Psalm 139:12), is always repeating the event spiritually in the lives of his people.
“The LORD helped David wherever he went.” – 2 Samuel 8:6 NASB
David had the kind of results most people can only imagine. Everywhere he went, the Lord helped him. Whatever he did, the Lord gave him success.
When he was attacked, God provided protection. David was victorious when he was outnumbered – even when his obstacles seemed overwhelming. He received hope when situations seemed hopeless. He was guided when he did not know what to do or where to go.
Why was he so successful? David had developed an intimate relationship with God and knew that He was with him. He believed His Word and approached each challenge with complete trust in Him.
This is the kind of life that God can give to all of us. It is a life of protection, safety, and constant victory. But we are not guaranteed to experience this level of success. As David found out later, we have choices to make. If we turn away from God and disobey Him, we cannot expect His blessings.
The Bible assures us that God is ready to help you in every situation you face. But you cannot have this kind of success if you trust in yourself or your resources. Be sure that you pray and commit your way to Him. Seek His wisdom. Be faithful with the resources you have been given. Obey His Word. Trust completely in Him. Have faith that He will give you victory in everything you do.