The appreciation for each morning has really evolved over that past few years.
I lost a good friend in 2006, and it was a very trying time for me. My buddy, who actually was one of my enemies for years prior, became one of the most trusted confidants I have ever known. We would have the deepest conversations, and he was one of the reasons why I gave my life to Christ. He was a very stubborn, sometimes very hateful, and very intimidating man. Fortunately, I had the opportunity to see his gentleness and love for God buried deep within his rugged exterior. He was my friend.
There came a morning when he was carried out from his home, put into a silent ambulance, and taken to the morgue. He was gone. I strongly believe he moved into the presence of our Lord. That day, and many days that followed, became days that were full of unbearable pain. I did not know how to handle the grief, and I did not rely on God to help me through. It was a time in my life that brought some of the lowest of lows, more and more substance abuse, and a depression that had cut me into pieces. It was through that pain that I became a stronger, more focused man. It was through those times that I became very reliant on the immeasurable power of the Lord. Although, grief is hard, with or without the Lord. It is a time and experience that greatly varies within all of us.
My mornings were once avoided. That was the time where I would wake from a tossing night. I would usually only sleep a few hours because my mind would never shut off. I would lie in bed, and just think. Think about pain. Think about loss. Think about the damned unbearable life I was living. Many things. I would not rest, and then the morning was a complete trigger for anxiety because I then had to go to work for many, many long hours. Then the night would come, and the same patterns would occur. Morning was a torture that really had no value. It was only a time of exhausted mind, body, and hope.
Things have changed drastically. Praise God, oh PRAISE HIM, for His grace and mercy that has led me to the changes and strengths of today. I sit in the morning, and meditate on his blessings. I purposely make an effort to remove the stress of life that will inevitably come within the growing day, and give it to the Lord. I practice my personal routine of preparation in the morning, before moving out into the busy world of tasks and challenges. It is this time, before the sun rises, that I thank God for another day. I reflect on many things, and usually write. It is quiet, and His peace is ambient. It is the fuel that will keep me running through another day. As the sun rises, I realize that He also has blessed me with rising. I am here for another day. I no longer take my days for granted, because like my friend, our days are not promised. Like my friend, I will someday leave this space of the physical, and move into the spiritual. While I’m here, I will just thank Him for another day, and another morning.