We awakened before dawn, bundling in blankets and sweatshirts, before grabbing a warm cup of tea and walking down to the beach. There in the cold sand, we settled, the steam rising from our mugs as we looked to the horizon.
Deep purple clouds dipped and tucked along the expanse of water, perfect impersonations of mountains waking in the morning. They were beautiful, fascinating to look at, their brilliance set off by the blooming sun creeping ever closer to the horizon.
Every morning, some form of this display takes place. It is powerful, majestic, and breathtaking all at once—and yet, I too often miss it. As we sat and watched, that deep part of my soul, the Spirit inside me, began to cry out in wonder.
Have you ever had a moment like that? A moment when the cares of this world drop away and you see what God has created with new eyes? Suddenly, from that deep place inside you cry out, “Thank You!” to the One who created it all.
You see, I think all of us can answer the question, “What are you thankful for?” Maybe you’re like me and you can list off many things. Some broad, some simple, while others are more complicated—like that song that comes on randomly and makes your day or the tears that fall from your eyes when you are laughing so hard you can barely breathe.
But have you ever thanked God for the wait? The struggle? The path of perseverance?
As I write this, some people come to mind. I think of friends who have prayer requests while they are in the midst of a struggle, in the midst of a season of waiting. Difficult, trying circumstances where, at times, hope seems far off.
Allow me to take you back to those clouds boldly standing along the horizon. As I sat in the cold sand, I found myself wondering at their beauty, but they were only beautiful because of the sun shining around them. As we sat there, we waited, the wind chilling us. We waited and waited, those clouds still standing like mountains, blocking the horizon when it suddenly happened. A giant gold orb began to crest upon the tops of the clouds, and before I had time to breathe in the sight, the clouds disappeared. The light diminished their darkness, and they paled in comparison to the glory of the sun.
I don’t know what you’re walking through right now. Maybe it is a family circumstance, a sense of anxiety, a season of learning to forgive someone, maybe it is a season of Spiritual dryness, or you fear the future. I don’t know what it is, but can I share something the Lord so recently illustrated in His sunrise?
Not for the pain or heartache you’re going through, but for the Light that we get to call Abba. Be thankful for the One who walks with us in these struggles, in these seasons of waiting and crying out to God. Be thankful for the closeness He brings as we turn to Him while we wait.
You see, those clouds looked like mountains on the horizon, and though I had to wait, once the Light broke forth, those mountains diminished into the background—a forgotten memory in light of the Son.
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. –John 1:5
The picture above was one I snapped of this very sunset in Hilton Head. If you look closely, you can just make out the clouds on the horizon. They are so diminished by the sun that you can hardly see them.
Be encouraged and thankful, no matter what season you’re walking through.
If you haven’t already looked into attending the Women’s Retreat: Treasured, on Feb 1-3, please do. We would love to have you join us!