Sunday, January 26, 2020

Now That’s Alarming

by Rhonda Rhea @RhondaRhea

I keep trying to find a friendly-sounding alarm clock. Do you have one of those alarms that shrieks at the decibel level of a tornado siren? The alarm goes off, you jolt up in a panic, heart pounding, barely catching yourself before you sprint to the nearest storm shelter. Ever find those fingernail marks in the ceiling over your bed? And my alarm doesn’t blast and then stop. No, it just keeps on shrieking. Smashing it with a fist does nothing—except cause major fist pain. Throwing it across the room doesn’t faze it. Stomping on it doesn’t do much either. Maybe you can guess why I never keep a sledgehammer beside my bed. Or C-4.

Why don’t they make an alarm clock that gently jostles my shoulder while softly informing me that the cinnamon rolls are ready? 

The thing is, if I ever found that kind of pleasant alarm clock, I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t wake me. I guess that means there really is purpose in the shriek.

I’m convinced that there are times I need a soul alarm, too. And not a soft jostle. A good shrieking jolt. In Psalm 57, David sounds the alarm with an “Awake, my soul!” 

David says, “My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast; I will sing and make music. Awake, my soul! Awake, harp and lyre! I will awaken the dawn. I will praise you, O Lord, among the nations; I will sing of you among the peoples. For great is your love, reaching to the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the skies. Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; let your glory be over all the earth,” (verses 7-11 ESV).

David is telling his sleepy-head soul to get in gear, loving, serving and glorifying the name of God. He’s waking up that part of him that is built to praise the God of the universe, readying himself for a new day of telling the whole world of the Father’s wonderful love, of His amazing faithfulness and of His vast glory.

Rejoicing in his circumstances? Not so much. David was in a cave, hiding from the king who hated him. He was in danger, running for his life. Sometimes when our circumstances aren’t exactly the best, we need to awaken our souls all the more to understand the goodness of God and to enthusiastically sing praises to the Father from every part of our being. David’s dire circumstances and his unjust treatment screamed an urgency to share the Lord with a lost world, to contrast the wickedness of evildoers with the greatness of God. There was still great purpose in the shriek.

No matter what circumstances we find ourselves in, our heavenly Father’s greatness always, always calls for celebration. Sometimes loud celebration. Sometimes quiet celebration. 

And me? Sometimes I like to celebrate with cinnamon rolls.


Rhonda Rhea is a humor columnist for lots of great magazines, including HomeLife, Leading Hearts, The Pathway and more. She is the author of 10 nonfiction books, including How Many Lightbulbs Does It Take to Change a Person? and coauthors fiction with her daughter, Kaley Faith Rhea. She and her daughters host the TV show, That’s My Mom, for Christian Television Network’s KNLJ. Rhonda enjoys traveling the country speaking at all kinds of conferences and events. She and her pastor/hubs have five grown children and live in the St. Louis area.


  1. Love this, Rhonda. Thanks for the reminder. And yes....I like to celebrate with cinnamon rolls too! Yum.

    1. Thanks so much, my friend--sounds like it's time for us to get together for coffee and cinnamon rolls! :)

  2. Cinnamon rolls for sure. Thanks for this.

    1. Cinnamon rolls. They speak to us all LOL! Thank YOU.

  3. This is for you, my friend. I've sung so many scriptures in my lifetime. This is one from years ago. I've always loved it. Based on the Psalm you quoted. I hope you can hear it! If not, YouTube and "Glorious Everlasting" by Cousins, Anthem. Loved this! Awake my Soul!!