Facing the Sunset

The old saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words” is well stated, but sometimes a picture can inspire the words.

I found that true while on a weekend get-away with my late husband and parents.  At that time, mom, like so many other women, had been facing a cancer issue and the treatments were just ahead.  Dad had come through a heart procedure and was coming to terms with some limitations that accompany age.  No one likes it.  Not those in that season of life, nor those who see the changes in the ones they love.  So, we determined that we would take time to celebrate life, whatever the stage and whatever the circumstances.

I set out to capture the memories in pictures so we could revisit them from time to time and, not wanting to miss a moment, I checked the images for quality after a few clicks. It was an easy task for the weekend turned out to be bright and glorious and our hours were filled with laughter, life and beauty to each day’s end.

A peaceful quiet settled in the atmosphere as the sun began to dip into the horizon of Lake Erie.  It was stunning and I photographed it from various angles as the hues changed around us.  At one point I noticed mom and dad taking it all in.  Their posture caught my attention and the setting caught my heart. Standing side by side, they faced the sunset captivated by the glory of God’s handiwork.  I snapped some candid shots and discovered that the sequence had indeed conveyed unspoken words ~ all directed at the parallel between sunsets and seasons of life.

God met me in the nostalgia of my thoughts.  “It rises on the other side you know”, I felt the prompting of His Spirit.  “Yes, Lord, I know.”  The fact that the sun was slipping out of sight didn’t mean that it was out of existence. A sunset here is a sunrise at another place and God is in both.  So it is with believers in Jesus Christ.  Whether we breath in life on earth or gain eternal life in heaven, we are sustained by the God who has them both in His keeping.

In the 60th Chapter of Isaiah, verse 20 speaks of a coming glory: “The sun will no more be your light by day, nor will the brightness of the moon shine on you, for the Lord will be your everlasting light and your God will be your glory. Your sun will never set again and your moon will wane no more; the Lord will be your everlasting light and your days of sorrow will end.”

What a wonderful promise!  A time is coming when we will not have to share the joy and beauty of life with earthly sorrows.  There will be no more cancer, no diseases, no pain, no aging, no time of parting for we will be with the One who created us and, by grace, saved us for an eternity with Him.

Until that time, we press on with hope and find strength by fixing our eyes on Jesus; for when we look intently into the beauty of God’s Word, we will surely discover that the most breathtaking sunset is only a prelude to an eternal sunrise.


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