© 2014 John Calvin

As Surely As The Dawn

Life intrudes, for all of us, and all too infrequently the business of life (or the busy-ness, as someone might say for emphasis) keeps us from time for stillness, for thinking, for contemplation and photography. It’s been a while since I’ve had time to post, or photos I felt like posting. I try to ensure I have time with friends, and time with family, and time for work, and not least time with the Lord…and all too often the only time I feel I have for that is the time while I’m driving, morning and evening.

This week’s been different, though, as I’ve house-sit for a couple I know from church, and have moved (for the week) 30 minutes closer to work. A lovely house in a lovely spot, with more time on my hands (and less family, though more animals). This morning I awoke early, having fallen asleep on the couch the night before, and contemplated going to bed properly as soon as I’d let the dogs out. But the morning was peaceful, in the pre-dawn coolness, the sky dark, giving way slowly to the silvery blue and gold of dawn. And so I sat down in the rocking chair on the columned porch, and paused, and played the excellent Christ Is Our Cornerstone album, which I find immensely beautiful and comforting of late, and waited for the dawn.

Dawn comes early, and inexorably–even in the greyest of British winters dawn still occurs, above and outside the cloud cover, and clear bright mornings like today aren’t rare in North Carolina in any season, particularly October. In my normal room, dawn is infrequently seen–even though it has an east-facing window, our house stands in the woods, and that as much as my love of the midnight hours is to blame for me rarely seeing the rising sun. Yet to those outside regularly and early, dawn is common, an every-day occurrence, and also somehow meaningful each time–the dark slumber of the land slowly yielding to silver-blue, and then yellow-gold and orange and fire as the first rays peek over the horizon. It’s a glorious sight. And it happens every day.

Our hope though isn’t in the sun’s recurrence, but in the Creator whose reliability makes the dawn merely a symptom and echo. He brought this world and universe into existence ex nihilo, and He is the one who sustains it. Genesis 8:22 mentions day and night alongside the more familiar line about ‘springtime and harvest’ in the post-Flood poem:

“While the earth remains,
Seedtime and harvest,
Cold and heat,
Winter and summer,
And day and night
Shall not cease.”
— Genesis 8:22 (NKJV)

The lovely song ‘As Surely As The Dawn’ by EMU Music employs the imagery of the dawn to describe His constancy, opening with ‘As surely as the dawn will come/ as certain as the day / there’s comfort for the weary / hope for all who stray.” That line sounded Scriptural, and so I went and searched and found the reference in Hosea 6:3.

“Let us know; let us press on to know the Lord;
    his going out is sure as the dawn;
he will come to us as the showers,
as the spring rains that water the earth.”
— Hosea 6:3 ESV

Let us be reminded every morning of He who set the sun and moon in motion, who was, and is, and is to come, and who is therefore surer than the dawn.

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