‘Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you.’ (v1) Isaiah 60:1–4

Observing sunrises is associated with summer, not winter. Yet they still occur. Waiting for sunrise takes patience. Once, on the slopes of Mt Subasio above Assisi, Italy, I waited to see the sunrise above the Apennines. It was cold and took time as light quietly preceded the bright orb’s return.

Shadow made way for the dawn before shafts of sunlight started kissing the landscape. Then we were finally embraced within its warmth. Like our search for God, there are many signs of God’s presence before we enter His reality. Indeed, the joy of our life journey is that we daily discover more of God’s presence before finally experiencing the dawning of our perpetual rest in God’s presence.

On Subasio that morning, some chose not to join us, preferring sleep. In doing so, whilst they later rejoined us, they had not shared an encounter with the dawn. So, we need to be awake to the opportunity to know God continuously. One reason I pray and read Scripture on waking is to begin my day as I intend to live it (Psa. 108:1–2).

Life’s responsibilities and pressures can dumb our sense of God’s presence. These wrestle to assert themselves as the dominant theme of our existence, and despondency easily casts its long shadow across our spirit. Here, we must wake up and join with creation to declare the glory of the Lord (Psa.19:1).

SCRIPTURE TO CONSIDER: Psa. 95; 103:1–5; Isa. 40:21–26; Luke 1:46–56.

AN ACTION TO TAKE: When you feel the shadows of despondency creeping up on you, what is your response? Seek to look for the warmth of God’s love and acceptance, the sign of God’s presence.

A PRAYER TO MAKE: ‘Lord, may the dawning of Your love embrace me every day, dispersing the shadows of despondency. Amen.’

Photo by Jérémy Sauterel on Flickr

Micha Jazz is Director of Resources at Waverley Abbey, UK.