Mar 1:35 And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed. (KJV)
As a child I remember the sleepless nights of Christmas Eve. Truly, “visions of toys danced in my head.” The thoughts of finding treasures under our Christmas tree the next morning robbed me of sleep the night before. Christmas Eve night only required a few hours of sleep. I didn’t mind slumbering throughout the day because finding fun under the tree was worth fighting fatigue.
Everyday, the best treasures are still found in the early morning, “a great while before day.” I’m not sure if it’s the solitude, the quietness of the moment, or if God has placed a special blessing on the fourth watch of the night. The early morning hours were also Jesus’ favorite times to be in the presence of God.
When your heart becomes set on being in His presence rather than “doing your morning devotions”, sleep becomes less cherished because of the prize that awaits you. Without question, the body must have sleep. Even so, our spirit must have God.
I’ve found that rising a “great while before day” isn’t a matter of discipline, but desire and expectancy. When we desire His presence, every day is like Christmas. We’ll get up early to find our treasure—the presence of God Himself.
“Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you” (Isaiah 60:1).