" ... so that from the rising of the sun to the place of its setting, people may know ... I am the Lord, and there is no other." Isaiah 45:6
One of my daughters has a keen interest in sunrises. I believe God placed that desire in her heart. Prompted by her text early this week (What are your plans on Thursday? I'm getting up early and going to see the sunrise ...), I unearthed this gem published in 2016 after our excursion to chase the sunrise and applied a few updated brush strokes to it.
Don't miss the present day picture of our latest sunrise chase at the end, along with the backstory on the cover art of my devotional, What the Morning Brings and an ebook giveaway!
The dream wasn’t mine. It belonged to my oldest daughter. And she was determined to satisfy it—with or without anyone to accompany her.
To sit in blessed silence atop a mountain and witness the sunrise.
I chose to join her on that wickedly early morning drive an hour north to Rough Ridge trail off the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina. A single flashlight guiding our steps, we quick-stepped the rutted and rocky terrain and hiked its darkened and winding .6 mile path.
Time was critical if she wanted to reach the summit before the sun peeked on the horizon. With each hasty step over jagged rocks and along a narrow, ascending trail, I gazed across the mountain scape, its ribboned edges widening in rich orange and yellow hues.
Cue Momma prayer ... Don’t you rise yet, sun. We’re almost to the top.
At the summit, we perched on a solid mass of granite. The icy October wind thrashed against my face and knotted my hair. Despite frozen fingers, I held the camera steady, gazing at the burgeoning, amber orb as the sun emerged from its pavilion into the cloudless horizon.
My eyes were transfixed on the steadily brightening horizon, the early morning’s indigo sky softening to a pleasing blue pastel. A warm, golden glow blanketed the rumpled landscape in pools of liquid gold.
Witnessing the sun give birth to a new day sobered me.
Spellbound, my spirit hushed, and God spoke:
"My daughter, I know you’re saddened by the political situation, the disregard for morality in this world. You’re confounded by the devastation caused by natural disaster that’s visited impoverished countries. You wonder how long My forbearance will hold out, and how I find it wholly good to send the sun, yet again, this morning. My sunrise says I’ve chosen not to consume this planet and its people because My great love and compassion never fails.
Because of the Lord’s great love, we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning.
From the rising of the sun to its setting—east to west—people will acknowledge 'I am the LORD, and there is no other.' Millions still pray to Me, seeking answers, and depend on the gift of daylight to continue their kingdom work and bring my purposes to pass.
I rise for the faithful and dispel the darkness for those who aren’t yet saved. Non-believers see the sun and consider its origin.
Awash in strengthening sunlight, may you make this moment a sanctuary, a place and time to worship and give thanks.
Because your daughter is watching. And when I place a desire in one's soul to witness the sunrise, I make Myself findable in it. My presence is not limited to brick and mortar buildings with lofty steeples.
As for the godlessness that permeates the earth, be strong and courageous! The enemy delights in a defeated countenance. So lift your eyes to the light.
Each day’s sunrise means there’s much to be done. For that, you are promised My strength.
I am the Lord, and there is no other."
☀️When and/or where have you yearned to experience God's presence?
☀️How has He reassured you of His sovereignty in hardship?
☀️Are you more drawn to sunrise or sunset? Why?
Thanks for reading!
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Until next time,
✏️What the Morning Brings is a compilation of 52 light-hearted and soul-stirring devotions that encourages you to look for God in your circumstances and to live a life of faith people can see. The cover is an enhanced image of the photo my daughter captured when we chased the sunrise atop Rough Ridge trail in October 2015. A randomly selected commenter will receive a FREE ebook copy!!
✏️Here's a link to the talk I gave in April with a dear friend of mine. Shining Your Light in Brokenness has accumulated over 135 views!! May it encourage you in seasons of hardship.