The Bounty in Early

The first thing I saw was the rainbow, surreal color against a thick pallete of oyster grey and pearl blue after the rain. Then there were the starfish–one, several, dozens on the sandbar under shallow, serene water as we paddled out. Dawn offers such a bounty of delights. A dolphin fin, then two; graceful creatures arced and blew, leaving smooth circles near us on the surface when they dipped. Seagulls flashed like Morse code as peeks of rising sun hit their white wings on every stroke, the rainbow’s prism, deepened in hue against the thickening grey, lengthened upward to encircle them. Then we saw the low white splashes, silver flashes, a school of foil-scaled snook energetically scalloping the water’s surface toward and alongside us—a first for our captivated hearts.

“O Lord, how many are your works! In wisdom you have made them all; the earth is full of your creatures. Here is the sea, great and wide, with teems of creatures innumerable, living things both small and great.” Psalm 104:24-25

By the time we turned around, the rainbow was gone, thunder rumbled in the east, and tiny drops ticked down on us. There is nothing like early for the Lord’s prepared feast, and we never know what we miss when we don’t arise.


“‘Behold, I am about to rain bread from heaven for you, and the people shall go out and gather a day’s portion every day. Gather of it, each one of you, as much as he can eat.’ Morning by morning they gathered it, each as much as he could eat; but when the sun grew hot, it melted.” Exodus 16:4,16,21

Lord, bid me rise at Your hour that I not miss the bounty You have for me. “Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.” (Psalm 90:14)

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