The Two Sunrises - Encouragement Café - February 27

The Two Sunrises
 By Joan Walker Hahn

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.  Lamentations 3:22-23 ESV

A group of ladies with Encouragement Café met recently in Myrtle Beach for our annual retreat.  The retreat is a time of discussion about writing and planning for upcoming events.  We also spend time just encouraging each other, laughing and praying together. 

We are just a group of ordinary ladies who have our share of struggles with life, but we serve an extra-ordinary, awesome God who faithfully leads us through every situation.  And we love sharing our stories in hope of encouraging others.

We had two mornings of waking up at the beach.  Although I am not a morning person, I got up early to watch the sunrise, as did several others.  The first morning, there were just a few clouds on the horizon.  As the sun came closer to peeking over the waters, the sky began to glow.  The oranges and yellows began to turn the black sky to varying shades of glorious blues. 

When the sun finally appeared, the brightness prevented me being able to fully gaze directly at it.  Even the shimmering reflections upon the waters brought tears to my eyes. 

The second morning was cloudy.  We could still tell that the sun was coming up, but even after sunrise, we could look directly at where the sun was hanging in the sky and see only shadows around the clouds.  There were some pretty shades of pinks intermingling with the gray clouds.  But the colors were not as vivid as the bright yellows and oranges of the morning before.

The world today is living much like the total darkness before a sunrise.   Evil and sin covers the earth.  The eyes of many are blinded from seeing any light of hope.  They revel in the darkness and forbid any light from shining through them. 

When we receive Christ as our Savior, His light overtakes the darkness within us, dispelling all sin.  Our life becomes filled with varying colors of beauty.  Each day brings an anticipation simply because of His promise that His mercy and love are new every morning. 

And just like the sun shining brightly and reflecting like diamonds off the water, His Light should shine clearly through us as we reflect Christ.  I would even hope that the brilliance of the unobstructed Light within us is so vivid, tears are brought to the eyes of those longing for the same light to glow within them.

But we also need to realize that as believers, every morning may not start with the same measure of light and beauty.  Just like the morning that was cloudy, we can still have the Lord’s light shining from within us, but trials and troubles we may be experiencing are obstructing the radiance of that light.  There is still some beauty intermingled among the shadows like the pale pinks within the clouds. 

On those mornings, we need to remember that behind that cloak of clouds that may have enveloped our hearts, the Son is still there.  We can trust in His presence and know the cloud of trials will eventually disperse. 

Which sunrise are you experiencing?  Are things bright and beautiful right now?  If so, allow God’s light of love reflect off of you into this dark world.

Perhaps your days are cloudy.  Trust in the fact that God is still near.  You may not be able to fully feel the warmth of His presence, but stay faithful.   You may not be radiant with vivid color, but His Light is still shining and the soft pinks mingled with gray are just as beautiful when reflected with His love.

Heavenly Father, Thank You for each sunrise!  Thank You for the times when I can fully see and feel your Presence.  Help me to live a life that reflects Your love and light to others.  But in those times of cloudy days, help me to remember You are still with me.  Give me strength to stay faithful at sharing the light of Your love no matter the brightness of my day.  Thank You, Father.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

© 2019 by Joan Walker Hahn.  All rights reserved.

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Originally published Tuesday, 27 February 2024.