Each New Sunrise

This is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24 NLT

Early morning was his time—and the porch was his place.

This month, we celebrate fathers, but since grandfathers—of which I’m one—are just one step beyond fathers, I’d like to celebrate a grandfather. Pappy I called him.

I didn’t understand why Pappy arose daily at five in the morning. After all, he was a full-time farmer, had no place to be at any particular time, and hired out most of his work. But when I spent time with him and my grandmother, I discovered why.

This grandfather rolled out of bed, put on the same pants he had worn the day before, and headed for the kitchen. He fixed a cup of instant coffee (Sanka, I believe.), smoked a cigarette or two, and headed for the wraparound porch—the side facing east. Although darkness still enveloped the surrounding fields and forests, he waited patiently. I soon discovered why.

One morning, I arose at the same time as he did. He wanted to know why; I made up an excuse. When he sauntered onto the porch, I followed and sat beside him. As shapes began to appear, I saw what he came for. The sky turned an orange hue. An array of colors infiltrated the clouds. And then it appeared. The sun peeked over the pines that surrounded the fields in front of us. That’s what he waited for.

Once the sun topped the trees, my grandfather got up and went about his business. He wasn’t an overly religious man, but I believe he knew God authored each new day—as did the psalmist. And each day, the psalmist rejoiced.

My grandfather’s morning routine reminded me that God controls nature. He began the world through acts of creation, and He still controls it. Sin causes nature to do things God probably never intended—such as form natural disasters that take lives and property. But God can turn the hurricane, tsunami, or tornado if He chooses.

Beginning and ending my day with thanks for a new day is proper. Since God made the day, He must have things for us to do within it. Through prayer and attention to His indwelling Spirit, we discover what they are. Every day provides an opportunity to serve Him by serving others, to use the gifts He’s given, to care for the world He’s created, and to prepare ourselves for the eternity He has awaiting us.

Don’t let your emotions or circumstances ruin each new day God creates. God controls both, and He can help you rejoice, regardless of what the day brings. I know. I watched Pappy do it.

Martin Wiles

Martin lives in Greenwood, SC, and is the Managing Editor for Christian Devotions (www.christiandevotions.us), the Senior Editor for Inspire-a-Fire, and a Proof Editor for Courier Publishing. He is an author, English teacher, minister, and freelance editor. He is the founder of Love Lines from God and the author of six books, including his most recent, A Whisper in the Woods: Quiet Escapes for a Noisy World. He has also been published in numerous publications. He and his wife are parents of two and grandparents of three. He can be contacted at martinwileseditor@gmail.com.

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