A Sunrise on the Front Porch
My eyes opened from sleep. A gentle light was beginning outside my window. “Come. Come.” The Voice called to me. I knew that Voice as my Father’s. And I sensed His invitation to a quiet time with Him, sitting on the front porch, enjoying the sunrise together.
So I got up, fixed a cup of coffee & settled into a rocking chair on the porch. Directly in front of me the sky was gradually growing lighter. A soft, clear light was infusing the darkness, wakening the earth. Birds were happily singing, calling to each other, chirping loudly. The air was brisk & clean. The grass was fresh with dew. It was a time of tender worship, intimacy with the Father, as I reflected on His sweetness to me and His tender mercies. What a treasure to have this relationship with the Creator!
As the sky lightened, the clouds gradually turned pink. The shades of color deepened. The trees became more distinct. More birds woke up. And I could not escape the beauty… the clear, pure beauty… of the scene.
I could see the scene from one standpoint, but God could see it from so many other angles. And as the sunrise moves around the world, He can move with it. How wonderful that must be!
Then the thought hit me….He saw the sunrises before Sin entered the world. Before pollution. Before crime. Before screams of pain entered the atmosphere. He saw the sunrises when they were perfect.
As He looks at the sunrise from my porch, does He remember what He had intended? Is He sad to think of what could have been, what SHOULD have been? My joy in the sunrise is pure joy….is His tinted with sadness? He knows the gulf that exists today in all of His creation…the gulf between what is and what should have been….the gulf caused by Sin in the world.
There is no doubt that He, more than any other, is aware of the gulf between what is, and what should have been. He knows the depth of the effect of sin, and He knows the plans He had for us and His world.
Do you feel His sadness? In your world, do you see things as they are and remember what you had hoped & planned for? Is there a gulf of disappointment? A child has fallen short….a home is failing….a business isn’t panning out…an education isn’t as profitable… The list is endless. Disappointments. Sadness at the loss of what should have been, according to the plans, according to the vision.
So how does my Father deal with this gulf between what IS and what SHOULD HAVE BEEN?
As I meditated on this, several thoughts came to me. And with each thought came the challenge to do in my own life, with my own gulfs, what my Father has done.
First, He enjoys what pleasures remain, even under sin and failure. Remember, seeing the sunrise was His invitation to me. “Come” And it was beautiful. Even in failure, there is much to be thankful for. God has not been defeated. His Hand is still evident. And I must develop eyes to see the goodness and mercy around me, even when what should have been is not there.
Second, He does not wring His hands, have a temper tantrum, or walk off the scene because His plan didn’t come to pass exactly as He had hoped. He has stayed in place. He hasn’t thrown away the whole ball of wax. He is still with us!
And like him, I need to stay present, be active, continue the work. As a cancer patient, I’ve overheard little phrases of encouragement by the clinic staff during chemo sessions. One of those phrases is “be present.” What that means is this: don’t check out mentally or emotionally from life. Stay connected. Stay involved to whatever degree you are physically able. Don’t die before it’s time.
It’s like the Lord with His creation and with us. Until that Day when all creation will die, He stays present. He stays active. He doesn’t give up the ship. What an encouragement to me.
Thirdly, He looks to the future when all will be restored to what it should have been in the first place. He knows the end is coming….an End that means destruction of all that contains the evil that destroys His plan and an End that re-Creates the world, people, galaxies into the original plan. A “new Heaven and new earth” the Scriptures call it. Perfect, without sin. No Gulf. No disppointment.
As my Father was looking at the sunrise, He was looking with hope, knowing a future of restoration is coming.
So, my friend, as you look at your life, and you see the Gulfs that exist…..as you stare at failures….as you live day by day with short-comings….remember the sunrise on the porch, and follow the example of my Father.
Enjoy the pleasures & mercies that still exist, even in the midst of Failure.
Stay present. Don’t check out. Stay involved.
Know that He who has promised is faithful, and His day of restoration is coming. Live in this Hope.