…is lovely.

I know it’s not the first thing listed in Philippians 4:8, but it’s the first one I decided to write about because of a small experience I had the other morning.

I find myself stressing and worrying far too much lately. And it’s becoming ridiculous how overly sensitive I’ve become toward the silliest things. One tilt the wrong way in my day and tears well up immediately. I too often feel like I think, “Hurry up and wait on the Lord.” And that’s a rough place to be. While many will nod their head in agreement and chuckle because of the truth behind it, it just makes me more anxious, more stressed, more panicked – Ugh!

But God taught me something new about waiting. And it is very lovely.

Thursday night I couldn’t fall asleep. I had taken a tension headache relief way too late in the evening that acted like a caffeinated beverage, leaving me with less pain but a very awake body until about 2 AM. Sleep finally took over, but was rudely interrupted at 3:30 AM by a piercing pain in my right ear. I thought something had burst, and had me burst into tears. The pain slowly subsided, but it was no use. I was wide awake in a panic – my head ached as if someone were tightening the band around my head to nth degree. My body trembled and shook, though I blankets piled high on top of me. My ear ached and felt hollowed out. I sat with my knees pulled to my chest and quiet tears dragging down my face. I looked at my phone: 5:34 – ugh. I felt awful. But I had had enough. “No.” I thought. “No” to exactly what, I am not sure, but I was sick of feeling like a victim and hiding from something scary. I put on my jogging clothes and stepped out into the cool early morning air. A single bird was chirping and only one or two lights were on in houses on my street. It was still too early for most people to be up. It was quiet and peaceful and the cool air felt great, despite my earlier episodes of chills and shakes. I don’t often pray aloud, but it felt completely natural this morning. I can’t exactly remember all I said, mostly ramblings probably. But whatever it was, it calmed me down. My street isn’t long, so I walked to the end of it and back in no time, but reached my porch steps and decided to sit and just soak up the morning air. It was glorious. By now, more birds joined the soloist from before, and some more lights turned on in windows of neighboring houses. It was almost 6 and a tiny thin brim of morning light was visible on the horizon. If you know me, you know I am not a natural morning person, I bury my head under blankets if the sun dares touch my face if I am still snoozing. But this morning, I thought, “This will be one of those rare times I’ll see the sun rise.” I smiled and couldn’t help but think about how Jesus often would go off to pray early in the morning and felt a little bit like Him. “I understand why you picked this time to pray,” I said.

As I sat there and just enjoyed our time together, I thought about healing and how sometimes it isn’t instant, it’s usually a process. It’s a long process sometimes. And sometimes the healing isn’t how we imagine it to be. God doesn’t want to be a magician or our instant entertainer – absolutely not. And after having this thought, I thought immediately, “Healing is a sunrise.” As if I had been shared a new and exciting story, I spoke aloud my realization:

Healing is a sunrise, because like a sunrise, our healing is going from darkness to light. It’s a long night of a process. Sometimes it is very painful and we lose sleep, but when we begin to receive healing, it’s like watching the sun rise and drive away the darkness. It’s slow, but faithful. We want to hurry up the process, but when you actually watch the sun rise and break through the black clouds, it’s glorious and lovely. It’s encouraging and strengthening. There is renewal and hope is restored.

Joy comes with the morning.

Our healing, our wait, is a process, the sunrise is a process. If God just switched on and off Day and Night -we’d be blinded. We would see it as some crazy magic trick. We would miss out on the lovely process that God ushers in every morning. Often, I think we take the sunrise for granted, we don’t even think about it. We go to bed when it’s dark, wake up and there’s light – maybe it already seems like an old trick we groan about. But maybe if we woke up a little earlier and just watched the Light cast out the Dark, we’d appreciate the process. We’d thank God we had a chance to see his mercies be new every morning.

Our sufferings and desires for healing will be with us until we’re reunited with our Father. But we don’t have to “hurry up and wait.” Watch a sun rise every now and then and see how lovely the process of waiting can be.