#614: Still, Still with Thee

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Reflections by the Pond
July 29, 2013

There is never a moment God is not with us, so there should never be a moment when we are not mindful of Him. And it begins in the earliest moments of each day.

Still, still with Thee, when purple morning breaketh,
When the bird waketh, and the shadows flee;
Fairer than morning, lovelier than the daylight,
Dawns the sweet consciousness: I am with Thee.

There are only a few benefits to rising before dawn. Comforting slumber must be beaten away as it clings tenaciously to the reposed form like a warm downy quilt. The eyes are glued shut, and behave like an old wooden cellar door soaked from a late-summer rain: swollen in its frame, unwilling to swing free. The floor is hard against legs that have atrophied from their lateral rest, and, overnight, heavy furniture has mysteriously moved itself into the path to the bathroom, barking shins and stubbing toes. But then, once the eyelids have been pried open, and at least a measure of the senses have returned, there is at least one benefit in store for the poor fool so rudely rung from bed.

Alone with Thee, amid the mystic shadows,
The solemn hush of nature newly born;
Alone with Thee in breathless adoration,
In the calm dew and freshness of the morn.

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The eastern sky, so long dark and anonymous, stirs at first with a grayish tinge barely perceptible against the thick night so reluctant to leave. But then it glows brighter, announcing the inevitable birth of a new day. There is still little about the dawn to invite the chilled early-riser's embrace; gray and distant, it seems only to remind the sleepy of the warm comfort just left.

But then the scattered clouds that reach outward from the eastern horizon begin to glow with the candied pinks and purples of the dawn—at first only faintly at the edges, but then gradually shifting from gray to white, to the rainbow colors of an awakening sun. And soon, as the gray dawn is replaced by the Technicolor spectacle of a new sky, the somnambulant riser is wide awake, exulting in the splendor of that which he, surely it would seem, is the sole spectator: a private showing of God's early rising.

Still, still with Thee, as to each newborn morning,
A fresh and solemn splendor still is given,
So does this blessed consciousness, awaking,
Breathe each day nearness unto Thee and Heaven.

As for me, I shall behold Your face in righteousness;
I will be satisfied with Your likeness when I awake.

Psalm 17:15

They say a good breakfast is a healthy way to begin a day. They say a glass of orange juice is just the ticket to jump-start a lethargic mind and body. Some may opt, instead, for a bracing cup of hot, strong coffee and the morning news.

But nothing throws off tenacious slumber quite like the glory of the Lord. Nothing braces the mind and heart for a new day quite like an early-morning audience with His splendor. It is to fill the heart with unbounded joy; it is to begin the day parting the blinds of the earth's sky, to peer into the brilliance of heaven itself.

When sinks the soul, subdued by toil, to slumber,
Its closing eyes look up to Thee in prayer;
Sweet the repose beneath the wings o'ershading,
But sweeter still to wake and find Thee there.

It is to begin the day being filled to overflowing with the Lord's goodness, majesty, and empowering strength. It is to be reminded that, indeed, He is with us—and we are with Him.

So shall it be at last, in that bright morning,
When the soul waketh and life's shadows flee;
Oh, in that hour, fairer than daylight dawning,
Shall rise the glorious thought: I am with Thee.

Harriet Beecher Stowe

"Then the glory of the Lord will be revealed,
And all flesh will see it together;
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken."

Isaiah 40:5

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God is forever seeking to speak Himself out to His creation. The whole Bible supports this idea. God is speaking. Not God spoke, but God is speaking. He is, by His nature, continuously articulate. He fills the world with His speaking voice.

A. W. Tozer