MORNING GLORY – a Devotion for 24 August 2016 Anno Domini
7 Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? 8 If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. 9 If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; 10 Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. 11 If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me. 12 Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee. 13 For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. 14 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. 15 My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Psalms 139:7-15
The flower called Morning Glory is one of my favorite flowers, not only for beauty, but also for its natural characteristics. Its fragrance is sweet, its appearance profoundly beautiful, its colors of deep and royal purple, or even white, adorn the humble roadside scene. It blooms at the instant of the risen sun, and it folds its fragile petals and dies at the sun’s setting. In this way, the Morning Glory is like the children of God who are children of the light: “4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. 5 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. 6 Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. 7 For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. 8 But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.”1 Thess 5:4-8 (KJV)
The plight of mankind is to be conceived in darkness, and born into the light of day. This is a physical illustration of the spiritual Christian life. No one is born Christian. He lives in darkness until His faculties admit of a power beyond that has granted life and light to men. He is then born into the starry light of this worldly wilderness. He is like the Morning Glory that blooms only at the approach of light, and sheds its pedals at the closing of day. During the short life of the Morning Glory, it always follows, full face, the orbit of the sun across the heavens. It will not deign to endure darkness, so it dies when the sun of day sets on the western horizon. All of its brothers and sister, emerging from the same vine, stand at the ready to bloom in the place of the faded Morning Glory at the coming of the next day’s sunrise. This reveals the importance of the replenishing of the blood of the Christian Church with the youth of her members. The church of aging members has failed to reproduce the Gospel fervor in the hearts of their children – how sad!
The greater amount of wickedness and evil happen during hours of darkness since evil hates light. This is true of armed robbery, fraud, and even politics. Drunkeness, drug abuse, rape, murder, and other sins often occur during the hours of darkness. The quality of light to illuminate wickedness makes the ways of the criminal much more difficult. But light also illuminates truth and the Good Way. In following the sun across the sky, the Morning glory exemplifies the spiritual eyes of the Christian in following Jesus Christ – the Light of the World – throughout the long day of life’s existence.
Sickness and sorrow are magnified during the nighttime hours. Fevers reach their peak at the midnight hour. Though sorrow and mourning are greatest during the night-walk of life, Joy will soon appear with the Morning Sunrise of the Day Star.
You will not commonly find the Morning Glory blooming in neat, well-kept gardens just as you will seldom find the humble Christian in the modern monuments-to-shame of the great, glass-adorned churches. Christ never wore vestments of silk, presumptuous miters, gold-trimmed robes, or rings of rubies or emeralds. He walked the common path of life preaching as often by wells, mountains, and seashores as in the Temple – in fact more commonly in those other places. He did not even own a pillow upon which to place His weary head. He did not even perform miracles where men demanded the spectacular, or signs and miracles. He performed the miracles of healing where hearts were humble, heavy, and hurting. That was the purpose of His miracles – to eliminate pain and suffering, not to boast of His power and glory. He often went to the mountain heights to pray at night while others went to their warm beds, or the streets to sin. Prayer is most efficacious at night because sin is most rampant at that hour. So the humble Morning Glory is most commonly found in the pasturelands, the fencerows, and the rural mailboxes of the world.
Light is a form of armor to the Christian soul revealing every area of goodness as well as wickedness. The snail, that eats and destroys the labors of the gardener, hurries to find shelter under a rock at the coming sunrise. If he lingers too long at his thieving enterprise, he will be melted by the rays of the sun.
Morning is always coming closer at the darkest moment before the light. So as the long night of the soul dwindles on, look at the hope we have of the coming light! If we are walking in the Light of the Lord, we cannot be walking in darkness. Already we have seen a preview of the coming Day of Eternal Glory in Christ. Though we now see through a glass darkly, we shall, on His Day, see Him face-to-face. “11 And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. 12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. 13 Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.” Romans 13:11-13 (KJV)
Since the entire night of sin is most complete just before sunrise, so all do of those sins lie open to be illuminated by the disinfecting light of the Sun at the rising thereof. That speaks to us of the revealing Light of God’s Holy and only Begotten Son at His return as the “Sun of Righteousness with healing in His wings.” (Mal 4:2)
The coming of morning is a time to awaken to a new day. Men rise from their beds and prepare, refreshed from sleep, for the labors and excitement that lie ahead. So comes the great Day of the Lord when the skies shall be rolled back as a scroll, and the entire globe will be illuminated by the Light of the Lord rather than by that celestial orb that has heretofore given the light of the common day. Men, women, and children (who know the Lord) will arise from their beds of dust, from the ashes of ancient fires of the martyrs, and from every corner of the globe to be received by the Lord Himself. They shall no longer wear the perishing robes of this world, but White and Spotless Robes of Splendor. The fiery snake of the Wilderness shall no longer bite, and the whip of the tyrant will be replaced by the love of the little child for his parents, and the Child of God for His Lord.
The birds of delight sing most beautifully with the sunrise. So will those birds of divine music and joy sing on that morning of pure delight with Christ’s Coming. The air will be pristine, and the fragrance of all flowers will everywhere be a joy. All life will awaken to an endless day, and the lion shall lie down with the lamb.
The Morning Glories of our pasturelands and fencerows already know that their life is only given for the day of sunshine. They know that the twilight shall bring an end to their brief, but beautiful, existence. But the day will come when the Morning Glory shall bloom never to shed her robes of white or purple.
In this life, too, men awaken often with the happy expectation, or even dread, of what the day will bring. There are occasions when the most promising sunrise may end in the most egregious sunset – but not at that day of the coming of the Lord. The golden rays of His appearing will caress the hills and mountains, and the valley’s shadows will be erased. The Morning Glory will not fold her leaves and die at the extinguishing of the light, for that Light is eternal.
Every soul that has ever lived upon planet Earth will arise on that Resurrection Morning – some to a glorious reward, and others to shame and eternal damnation. What a devastating damnation to the damned to realize that, like Judas as he departed from the Last Supper into the night, they shall never again see the light of day. How happy the redeemed of Christ to know that they shall never see another night of gloom, but only Light and Joy forevermore.
I love many different flowers, and for different reasons, but my favorite of all is that beautiful purple Morning Glory of promise.