Have you ever woken up earlier than you wanted to and not been able to go back to sleep? If you wake up between, say, 1:00 and 4:00 in the morning, it’s not so difficult to try to get back to sleep — you know you have several hours before it’s time to get up. But, if you wake up between 5:00 and 6:00, it’s a little harder.
I know. Many of you wake up between five and six on purpose. It hasn’t been necessary for me to do so on a regular basis since I had kids at home I had to get ready for school. I’m more of a 7:00 a.m. kind of girl.
Well, this morning, that happened to me. I was enjoying my peaceful slumber when, for no apparent reason, my eyes flew open sometime between five and six. When I saw the hour, I closed my eyes and turned over in my first attempt to catch a few more Z’s.
Nope, it wasn’t going to happen. Being a certain age, nature called and I had to attend to the call.
I climbed back into bed, pulled the covers up to my chin and closed my eyes. About thirty seconds later, they popped open again. I wasn’t overly upset or anxious about anything, I just couldn’t get back to sleep. I said a prayer for an event some friends were involved with today and mentally ran through the next couple of weeks. Okay, I can tell this isn’t going to work I thought. Might as well just get up.
Our dog sleeps in the same room as us when we are at the beach. I knew he would hear me and sense that I was awake and up so I decided to let him out of his kennel and give my husband a break. He normally takes Boone out the last time at night and the first time in the morning. I knew he would enjoy sleeping in.
Boone was a little confused when I opened his kennel to let him out. He hesitated and looked at me as if to say “Umm, what are we doing up at this hour? It’s still dark!”
The Reward For My Early Rising
We went downstairs and I took him out in our tiny strip of backyard to do his business. I could hear the sound of waves gently breaking on the shore. The gulf must be calm. Then, I looked up into the pre dawn sky.
Wow! Wow! Wow!
Thank You Lord! Now I know why you woke me up so early!
The sky was inky black with thousands of tiny lights scattered across it — as if God had taken a jar of glowing glitter and flung it across the sky. It was breathtaking.
I stood there for several minutes gazing up at the sky, in awe. The night sky never looks like this at home — too much light.
I recognized some of the constellations and picked out the planet Mars. Two shooting stars streaked across the sky. I even witnessed two satellites in their orbit. I knew they were satellites because they were too distant and fast for jets and too slow for shooting stars. Also, Google told me that yes, it was possible to see satellites in the night sky when the conditions are right. (Like the pre-dawn sky over the Gulf of Mexico.) Who knew?
I remembered an app I had on my phone called Sky Guide. You point your phone at the sky and the app shows you what you are looking at — major stars, planets and constellations. (I misidentified a couple of them.) I saw my grandson’s name in the sky, which made me smile. Okay, it was identifying the constellation Leo but it still made me think of one cute little nugget in Nashville. It even showed that somewhere way up in space there was a rocket orbiting the earth. Fascinating.
I finally pulled myself away from the scene. My neck was starting to hurt from looking up and Boone was willing me to take him upstairs for breakfast.
After he ate, I made myself a cup of coffee and we went out and sat on the balcony. Although not as vast as when I was in the backyard, the view of the pre-dawn sky was still pretty spectacular.
We sat there listening to the waves kiss the shore in the silence before dawn. We watched as the sky, ever so slightly, changed from inky black to navy blue to deep royal blue, to sky blue to pale baby blue.
A Lesson In The Stars
As the sky transformed from night to morning, I noticed another change. The lighter the sky became, the more the stars seemed to disappear. I stayed on the balcony until there was only one faint star still visible.
It illustrated a truth to me.
Though I couldn’t see them any longer, I knew that the stars were still there. I had just seen them.
I think it’s like that with God. We may not be able to “see Him,” or feel His presence in our lives from time to time but that doesn’t mean He is not there. He is always there, even when we can’t see or feel Him.
Do you love looking at the night sky as much as I do? Do you set your alarm to wake up to see a meteor shower or a rocket launch? Are you in awe of stars, planets and other things we see far above us in the night sky?
The next time you see a beautiful night sky, full of stars and planets, take a mental picture. When the daylight comes, remember that those stars are there, even though you can’t see them. They didn’t go anywhere. You know what? Neither did God.
When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have ordained; what is man, that you think of him? What is the son of man, that you care for him? Psalm 8:3-4 (WEB)