Thoughts Early in the Morning
November 16, 2017
I am an early riser. I am not one of those folks who like to roll over and go back to sleep. I don’t think I have ever used the snooze button feature on my alarm clock. Even as a little girl, I remember getting up before the rest of my family. I would go outside and feed bread crumbs to the sugar ants who had erected their sand castle homes in our driveway. Or I would sing and swing on the set Dad had built for us in the back yard.
Today, I still get up early to see the rosy glow of the sky as the sun pushes its way over the eastern horizon. I like the quiet and anticipation that I hear and feel at the start of a new day. I like the soft twitter of the birds as they acknowledge the morning light. I like the steaming mug of coffee clutched in my hands as I wander through the dew drenched flowers in my yard. One of my favorite childhood hymns has the words, ‘I come to the garden alone, while the dew is still on the roses’. This always has been, and still is, the time I use to talk to God.
Lately, in my early morning talks, I have been lamenting a lot about issues having to do with my aging parents. They are both in their nineties. Their minds are finally getting confused messages, and their physical bodies are beginning to fail them. When I have phone conversations with Mom (both parents live in Michigan), I feel like I am talking to the shell of my mom. Conversations are very simple and shallow. Often she lashes out against one of my siblings for failing to visit or care for her when I know that they have just recently been to see her. Dad, who is ninety-five, has always had a very alert mind. But now, he too, is becoming very forgetful and complains that family does not come to see him.
Watching my parents age like this is not only sad, it is also somewhat frightening. Seeing my parents age makes me question what I will be like if I live to be as old as they are. I find myself purposely pulling up an old memory of them in my mind, rather than see them as they have now become. That is much more comfortable for me. It is so difficult to take this walk with my parents. I want to remember them as loving, and kind, and wise…my safety zone throughout my life. But this aging process is unexplored territory for me.
Jack deJarnette once preached a sermon in which he said something like this…God allows us to age as a means to ready us to move on. We are in love with our lives here on Earth. As our bodies and minds begin to deteriorate, we long for wholeness, health, and energy once more. Eternal life in heaven with our Creator is the solution, and we begin to long to go to be with Him.
Psalm 23 is one of my favorite Bible passages. These verses remind me that God is always with my parents and me, even in aging and death. God promises. He has made a covenant, a binding contract to keep us close, to always be there and watch over us no matter where we are in our walk.
So when I rise early, when I savor that first cup of coffee, when I walk among the flowers, listen to the birds, and glory in His amazing earthly creation, I also know that Heaven will be far more magnificent! My parents are being readied, as I will be, for that final transport to eternal life. When I am in my garden alone with the dew still on the flowers, I am comforted that God’s promises include forever with Him. My parents (and I) will finally be able to lay down the burdens, and yes, even the beauty of this Earth, and have eternal happiness and peace with the saints and angels of Heaven.