and caused the dawn to rise in the east?
Have you made daylight spread to the ends of the earth,
to bring an end to the night’s wickedness?
As the light approaches,
the earth takes shape like clay pressed beneath a seal;
it is robed in brilliant colors ~ Job 38:12-14, NLT
Have you ever watched the sky change color? No, I mean REALLY watched it, giving it your complete and undivided attention, not just glancing out the window from time to time as you go about your duties. Have you ever made it a point to be a captive audience for the display of beauty that the Lord God puts on for you each and every day?
Early this morning, I was sitting down at my kitchen table and had just opened my ‘Jesus Calling’ devotional book. Normally, I take it, my Bible, my journal, a cup of coffee and myself down into my basement into the little area I’ve set up for myself for my alone time with the Lord. But this morning, my schedule was thrown off a bit, due to some testing that’s going on at my daughter’s school, so for the short time I had before I had to start getting things ready for breakfast, I decided to sit at the kitchen table instead. Before I began reading, I glanced out the storm door and saw the dark blue and grey sky beginning to change color. As I turned back to the book, it almost felt like Jesus took my face in His hands and turned it back towards the sky, whispering “No, not yet, dear one. Come look at what I have for you this morning.” I rose to my feet and, still in my pajamas, stepped out onto my back porch.
I felt the crisp coolness of the air hit my skin, took in the scent of the rain we’d had overnight and listened to the soundtrack of singing birds, water dripping off my neighbor’s rainspout and then suddenly, magically, as if on cue, the ringing of bells from the church across the street as I watched the Lord God peel back the darker shades of blue and grey to reveal a lighter, beautiful dusty mauve sky. I was spellbound. The sky wasn’t overly bright with color -- it was more like a muted pastel -- and I continued watching as more and more of the morning sky became filled with that mauve tint. At one point, out of the corner of my eye, I glimpsed the leaves at the top of this huge, majestic tree in my neighbor’s yard become awash by this pastel light, making them turn from green to orange and gold. And then, after a few minutes, I watched the mauve sky melt into crystal blue as the sun began to peek up over the houses.
Truly, I felt like applauding! What a show! What a way to start the morning! I’m so grateful to God, really, for all the times He has provided me with a front row seat to such performances. Some have been so simple, like the time a beautifully colored butterfly actually landed on my hand for a brief moment, or another time when a peregrine falcon swooped down and soared right past my face and across the length of the almost empty community pool I was relaxing in. And some have been so over-the-top awesome, like the blazing, glorious sunrises and sunsets, double rainbows, meteor showers and falling stars I’ve been privileged to observe.
God puts on displays like these (and many more), not only to reveal to us His mighty power, majesty and sovereignty, but I believe He also does this to bring us the gift of joy in our often broken and mundane lives. He does so because He delights in us. He does so because He loves us, His precious and beloved children.
In my role as a parent, I’m called and required to provide the basics for my son and daughter: food, clothing, shelter, healthcare, education, etc. But because I love them and take great delight in them, I thoroughly enjoy surprising them with gifts here and there that I know will light up their faces and bring them joy. The anticipation can often be too much….I just CAN’T WAIT for them to see what I have for them! And sometimes, I think I’ve received more joy than they have when I see their reactions to whatever it is I’ve given them. Do you believe that God, as our Father, our Abba, does this same thing and feels the same way towards us? I do! And I agree with James 1:17 (CEV) -- ‘Every good and perfect gift comes down from the Father who created all the lights in the heavens.’
I've been retired from my job as a secretary for a busy State government office since July 1st of this year, and people often ask me if I'm enjoying retired life. I can honestly say that I am! The most significant thing I’ve found in being retired is this: I have more time. Time to do lots of things….and time to do ABSOLUTELY NOTHING AT ALL. Because of this, I’ve found I'm more aware of the symphony of sounds, sights, scents, etc., in my life mainly because I am less rushed. I’ve found that I now have time to stop and smell the roses or the coffee (and to drink it while it’s actually still hot!), to enjoy the treasure trove of wonder that God has in store for me during the course of my day. I realize that not everyone has been afforded this gift. The majority of my friends work outside the home, many having to leave before the birds wake up and returning home by the light of the moon.
Yet, may I encourage you today, wherever you are in life, whatever you’re in the midst of doing, whomever you're surrounded by, whether you’ve got it all together or you’re broken in pieces -- to make time and take time in your day to seek out those good and perfect gifts that our Father God is just waiting with joyful anticipation to give to you. Because He delights in you. Because He loves you, His precious, beloved child.
So much wonder
Carved in Your coral seas,
So much wonder
Shaded by ancient trees;
I consider all that Your hands have made
Every newborn's eyes, every new sunrise;
No power can tame your presence,
No light can match your radiance!
Let all creation sing in wonder
Every sea, every creature, every star;
You opened up my eyes to wonder
What a vision,what a wonder You are! ~ In Wonder, by newsboys