Most every morning I hear my husband singing in the kitchen “here comes the sun, little darling, here comes the sun and I say, it’s all right.” Mornings are my favorite. That’s one of the many reasons why. Here’s another:
Lamentations 3: 22-23 says “The Lord’s unfailing love and mercy still continue, fresh as the morning, as sure as the sunrise.”
Here in BIG Life we say each day we are the recipients of the greatest gift wrapped in the rising sun, the gift of a brand new day of life. I’m a total sunrise junkie. There’s just something about watching the sun appear on the horizon to shine upon the new day. Being here on the island for the past 2 weeks, I haven’t missed a single sunrise. Every day I’ve walked onto the sand and waited for that moment, that moment when the slate is clean and God’s mercies are new with his unfailing love. Morning.
Watching the sunrise, I’ve learned 3 valuable things about life.
1. The photo never captures the full picture.
No matter how good your camera is, the beauty you see simply cannot be fully captured in the photo. It’s almost frustrating to not be able to document the true beauty of a magnificent sky. In fact, it can be so frustrating, you can miss the magic of the moment trying to get the perfect picture.
IT’S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. Nothing compares to the real deal.
I can work to get the right angle. I can use a filter. I can even touch my phone screen to adjust the lighting and make the colors pop (hey, did you know that’s a real thing. I discovered yesterday morning during the sunrise how many people don’t know about this little trick of magic. On your cell phone, when you’re taking a photo, touch and hold the lightest part of the screen and it will adjust the exposure and give you a more colorful dramatic picture! You’re welcome.)
However, you still won’t capture the absolute magnificence of what your eyes behold in that moment. You have to be there to really see it.
I wonder if God designed it that way so that we would stay in the moment? I wonder if what he really wants is for us to show up for life and see it for ourselves instead of settling for the photo of it?
The greatest beauty in your life is found when you show up for it. Show up for it. For what? Real life. Ordinary every days of life. This is the real stuff. God doesn’t just save beautiful sunrises for Saturday mornings, he brings them on Wednesday mornings, right in the middle of the week and says I hope you show up for it.
Someone once told me to consider the magnificent paintings in the sky as God’s personal work of art just for me. Imagine that he would love you that much. That he would make the sun to rise in it’s beauty and splendor just for you. My favorite color is hot pink. Last night we walked up the coast to a fabulous restaurant right on the sand and there in the sky were the boldest, deepest shades of my favorite color. Could it have been for me? Why yes, I believe it could have been.
Don’t you know God loves you that much? Don’t you know he is that involved in the details of your life? Don’t you know he would paint the sky just for you, his beloved daughter? Oh what more would he do to turn your eyes upon him and capture your heart … there’s nothing he wouldn’t do. He works through both blessings and burdens to show himself at work in your life. He appears in both success and struggle, happiness and heartache, sunrise and sunset. All of this to prove his eye is on you and his plan is for you.
But, the picture you get will never capture the full reality of what is happening.
The second thing I’ve learned while watching every sunrise here is:
2. There are things happening you can’t see.
Some mornings the sky has been solid gray. Some times the fog is so thick you can’t even see the waves in front of you, let alone the sun popping above the horizon. But make no mistake about it, it’s still there.
The sun is still coming up and the new day is starting, whether I see it or not. It is happening. One morning our retreat girls were gathered on the beach under gray, cloudy skies and my husband looks at his watch and sees it is time for the sunrise. It is time, but our eyes can’t see it. We feel like nothing is happening. Then he says in his best Morgan Freeman God voice: “It is here. It is good.”
So simple, it is here and it is good. Whether you can see it or not, it’s happening. Sometimes you just have to trust the sun is coming up, with or without the beautiful colors in the sky. Sometimes you just have to imagine what’s going on behind the scenes because you don’t get to see it happening.
I wonder what’s happening behind the clouds in your life? I wonder what God is doing but you just can’t see it?
If every single morning were a guaranteed colorful sunrise, wouldn’t it eventually grow old? Wouldn’t you sit it out knowing there were countless more opportunities to capture the same thing on another day? Oh, it’s the constant things in our lives we take for granted. When’s the last time you sat around amazed by your body’s ability to breathe? You’ve been naturally breathing all day so far, likely without a single thought about it. That’s because it is your normal. You expect it. Anyone ever have heart palpitations? You don’t even feel your heart beating in your chest, but the moment it skips a beat you’re more than aware!
We take for granted that which we always have, it’s human nature. I’ve seen enough gray, cloudy skies in the morning to make the mornings of color stand out. It’s what makes them special. My guess would be you’ve likely seen enough gray, cloudy days in your life to make the colorful ones stand out. God allows that. He allows gloomy days to help you grow to appreciate beautiful days. He works in the gray to prepare you for the color. He wants to keep you in the game, showing up for what he created you for, so he always keeps you guessing when it may come.
You don’t always see the sunrise … just like you don’t always see what God is raising up in your life. Sometimes it’s covered by clouds of hard circumstances, difficult people, and frustrating delays. BUT GOD IS STILL WORKING. He’s still doing his thing even when you can’t see it.
You may not see what God is doing right now in your life, but he’s still making it happen. Behind the scenes, beneath layers of disappointing gray skies, God is working and that sun is still rising. You have to believe it’s still there when you can’t see it. You have to believe he is still working even when you see no signs of light. BECAUSE HE IS. That’s the truth. It’s still happening, whether you see it or not.
Sometimes we just have to imagine it. It is here. It is good.
My sister, you have no idea what God sees in you. Just like a sunrise happening behind a layer of clouds, blocking our eyes from the beauty, you likely can’t see what God has put in you and what he’s doing in you. Begin praying for God to reveal his potential within you. Begin seeking the beauty in your own life you’ve been missing because it’s been behind the scenes. Begin thanking God for those things which you are yet to see. Praise him for what you know is happening but is yet to be revealed.
The morning is here with God’s unfailing love and mercy, and just like the sunrise, sometimes you see it and sometimes you just have to believe it’s still there.
3. Stick around for the breakthrough.
One morning, about 6 of the 12 retreat girls gathered on the beach for the sunrise. Only half went out because it was forecasted to be cloudy. Then stepping out onto the sand, we saw with our own eyes, the forecast was correct. Solid clouds. No colorful artwork in the sky, no magnificent show of light. Just solid clouds.
So, we watched our clocks and imaged it happening, then half returned to the house for their morning coffee. But 3 remained. 3 stayed on the beach, hoping to see something change. Hoping for a breakthrough.
Is that where you are? Hoping for a breakthrough? Hoping to see a change? Just praying the clouds will part and the sun will breakthrough in your life? Are you desperate for that sun to come up on the horizon in your life because these gray clouds are growing real heavy?
Here’s what you need to know … BREAKTHROUGH IS COMING. DON’T GIVE UP.
The 3 of us who stayed on that beach received the most magnificent sunrise of all. Was it the most colorful? No. But it was the perfect picture of how God works. He parts seas in the bible, and he parts the clouds in our skies. The rays of light split the clouds and there it was. What was happening behind the scenes that had been hidden shown through now.
We had believed it was happening although we couldn’t see it. But many gave up just before the breakthrough. The breakthrough that allowed us to see what we had believed in.
I wonder how many times we’ve missed the breakthrough because we turned around and walked away too early? I wonder if you’ll miss it again this time?
There are no guarantees for a breakthrough today, but with a God like ours loving us and personally involved in every detail, I wouldn’t count today out yet!
If you need a breakthrough, I have a song for you. Look it up and listen to Breakthrough by Red Rocks Worship. The lyrics are:
Cause Your power and Your presence
Breaks strongholds, King of Heaven
When You speak, mountains move
I believe there will be breakthrough
Show up and believe in your breakthrough my sister. Don’t walk away. Maybe it’s today, maybe it’s tomorrow, or maybe God will be working through the clouds in your life for a longer season, but eventually there will be breakthrough and you want to be there for it. Don’t miss this.
Repeat after me: I believe there will be breakthrough.
there will be breakthrough
God’s timing is not our own. His ways are above our ways. We must show up and trust. And keep showing up without giving up.
So here we are, welcoming a new day of life. The sun came up today, just like it has everyday of your entire life. There’s never been a day the sun didn’t show up. It was right on time, whether you saw it or not. And so has God’s love and mercy. Every day of your life you’ve been covered by his love and mercy. Some days you’ve seen it better than others.
Some days show up in magnificent color that makes you stop in awe, and some days it feels like just another gloomy day. But every day God is working faithfully to bring you into the life you were created for as the person you were created to be. He doesn’t always work through beauty alone, he often works behind the scenes in ways you can’t see, but never doubt he is working.
Sometimes you’re gifted with the opportunity to see beauty that is indescribable and you have to be there to see it fully. Sometimes you’re gifted to see the breakthrough happening right before your eyes and dang it’s amazing when God parts the skies for you. And sometimes the skies remain gray and you just have to know God is still working just the same for you.
His work is not limited by clouds, only your vision and ability to see his work. Clouds or no clouds, I will trust God’s love and mercy are here today.