Tuesday, April 9, 2013
My daughter, Victoria, took this picture a couple of nights ago from the back yard at our house. She didn't touch it up with any of the "photography tools" that are out there.
Just her telephone.
And God's touch.
Sunsets in Oklahoma tend to be exceptionally beautiful. From a scientific perspective, I understand it has to do with the wind kicking up the dust and the clouds. upon which the light reflects an assortment of colors.
From a spiritual sense, God shows us amazing things, doesn't He?
I look forward to sunset when I am at home. After the stresses of the day I am always dazzled at God's hand literally unfolding in front of my eyes. Some evenings, it is possible for us to anticipate that the sunset will be picture perfect. We can see it as the clouds settle just right or the clarity of the sky appears just perfect to create a color of blue that is usually only seen painted on canvas by great artists. The colors come alive as the owls hoot in trees behind the house. The coyotes and their pups start yapping away. Our dogs, Tucker and Charli, get into their protective mode and patrol the outskirts of the yard to keep those outsiders out.
It becomes a time of reflection and one when, hopefully, we never hesitate to say out loud "God made an amazing sunset tonight, didn't He?"
As we have raised our children, my wife and I have tried to keep in front of them the beauty of the world and the realization that without God, none of this would exist. Even though I tell myself that I am saying the words for the kids and their friends about the wonders of God, in reality, I suppose I am reminding myself of the same thing.
I really get to thinking. How much credit do I claim for the good things in my life? How often do I seek out someone else to blame for the myriad of bad things? In all of the difficulties we have experienced over the past years, do I blame God? When He sees us through the hard times, do I credit Him or try to say that I steered us through the turbulence?
My faith is, at the same time, both fragile and durable. I see the Oklahoma sunsets and realize His handiwork in front of me. No one could convince me otherwise of the overwhelming power of God.
And yet, during a recent overseas trip on behalf of our church, our daughter texted at 1:30 in the morning (Croatia time) to tell us some difficult news about her health - another trip to the ER, another problem that is painful, worrisome and unfair for her. And my confidence in God's handiwork started to crumble - even in the midst of seeing great things happening in churches in eastern Europe.
Fragile faith. Durable faith. All wrapped up in one frail person.
So I look in awe at the beauty He creates. I cry at the destruction that surrounds us. And I live with the amazement that God holds it all.
I wonder, when I see all of that, what is the right perspective?
My feeble answer is all of the above. Often at the same time.
Sunsets draw people to consider the end of something. When I am sitting in our back yard, watching the colors, listening to the sounds and being protected by Tucker and Charli, I am drawn to the idea of being refreshed.
I've done all that I can today. You created an amazing view, Lord.
God, what do You have in store for tomorrow?