Reference Point Devotional

Unexpected Blessings – 05/2020

“God said, “Let there be light.” And so light appeared. God saw how good the light was. God separated the light from the darkness. God named the light Day and the darkness Night.” (Genesis 1:3-5 CEB)

I am not a morning person. I would like to be a morning person, and I occasionally feel really good and productive when I rise early, but generally speaking, I am simply not a morning person. But for one glorious week in November, I became a morning person at the Wesleyan-Holiness Digital Library (WHDL) development team meeting. What compelled me to get up in the morning was the glorious sunrise, one of the many beauties of God’s created world.

In Genesis 1:3, God says, “Let there be light.” I’ve always thought of this as something like turning on a light switch. What if, instead, God’s “Let there be light” was bringing the first sunrise into existence with all the brilliant colors and anticipation of that first blinding liver of sun breaking over the horizon? What a sight that would have been!

The WHDL team was in Kansas City, at a hotel that sat on an artificial lake. On the other side of the lake was the airport. While one might not think a view of the airport is the best vista for enjoying nature, the breakfast room, with floor to ceiling windows, faced east. Every day, I hurried to get dressed and down to the breakfast room to witness the sheer beauty of the sun rising while I ate my breakfast. The first day, I was alone. None of the others on my team had gotten up yet. But for the next few days, I spent time with another team member (a true morning person, by the way) and we enjoyed the sunrise together before beginning our long days of meeting and planning. It was a powerful reminder that we are not developing the Wesleyan-Holiness Digital Library for our own glory, but for God’s glory.

Anne Lamott wrote a book about prayer entitled Help, Thanks, Wow: Three Essential Prayers. Throughout the week, my days would always start with Wow in that breakfast room. While I was working with my colleagues, there were many prayers of Thanks.  As we thought about our future plans that would almost certainly only come to pass with a great deal of prayer, we said, Help. The same God that brings forth light from darkness also guides the WHDL team through their work in support of the mission to deliver content to remote parts of the world.
Maybe a hotel that overlooks the airport is not the likeliest place to enjoy the Wow moment, but during that week, I witnessed two Wow experiences: a brilliant display of God’s creative power; and a decidedly un-morning person rising before the sun.

Amy Rice

Amy is the Library Director at Northwest Nazarene University in Nampa, Idaho. She has been an ACL member for 14 years.