The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Psalm 19:1 ESV
One of my favorite reasons for going to the beach is to watch the sunset over the Gulf of Mexico. Any sunset is beautiful but the most spectacular require some clouds on the horizon, for the sun to light up with amazing shades of red, orange and yellow below the canopy of a fading blue sky. When my sister-in-law passed away recently, I was reminded of sunsets in our own lives. Our years of day trips into Chinatown, Christmases at the big house when all six brothers and sisters gathered and walks in Golden Gate Park reflected off the clouds of sorrow that came with the phone call telling us of Diane’s passing.
Though grief has settled on our horizon, God is painting the colors of sunset on our hearts with hope. Diane’s hope was not in the doing or possessing of anything here on this shore, but across the other side of the sea with Jesus Christ. The beauty of the hope we hold onto when the blue sky of our passing years fades is His signature which says, “This life is mine, and a new and happier one lies across the sea.” There we will meet Diane again, where we will be able to run up heaven’s hills and together breathe deeply of its pure air. Our life here is just an unfinished canvas. If we put the paintbrush of our will into the Master’s hands, He will fill our days with His design and sign at the bottom when He is done. Just as every sunset tells us that God has finished another day, so a life that is His will receive His signature, declaring, “This is mine – and all that has passed is only the beginning of all the wonders that lie in store!”
The Lord is my light and my salvation. Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life. Of whom then shall I be afraid? Psalm 27:1 KJV
When I go for a quiet walk in the park or wade in the waves at the beach, peace seems an easy concept to get a hold of. But with our nation in crisis, and people lining up for miles just hoping for a plane ride out of Afghanistan, peace sounds more like a fairy tale than a reality. In Psalm twenty-seven, King David found himself in a similar circumstance, surrounded by an army, as powerful and deadly as the Taliban. His enemies had already wiped out nearly every man woman and child in the town of Anathoth, for simply giving him and his men a few loaves of bread and a single sword. But on that evening as David looked down at the encampment of blood thirsty men, God asked Him what he was afraid of and on David’s darkest night, the answer came. “The Lord is my light and my salvation. Why should we be afraid?” Just as in David’s day, the Lord remains our light and the only one We can depend on to help us through. Our current state of helplessness does us the favor of reminding us that He alone is true strength!
So what are you facing? What challenge is on your path this morning? God has allowed this situation. At times like these people often say, “God is still in control.”. While that of course is true, it would be even more accurate to say that, “God is more in control now than ever: because we are not!” He wants us to see that now more than ever, He is our hope and our salvation and we don’t ever need to be afraid!
And Jesus said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men. Mark 1:17
There is nothing that says hope quite like going fishing. We put some bait on a hook and cast it into the water and then wait just hoping for a bite. I loved the photo I used for the featured image today because it is of a Father teaching His son to fish. He doesn’t just sit on the beach and say, “Okay go for it!” No! Instead, He is right there behind him, holding the rod and showing Him everything he will need to learn to catch fish. That is what our Heavenly Father wants to do for every one of us when we answer His call to become fishers of men. He promises to stand by us and help us every step of the way! For those looking for a large print devotional for yourselves or for a loved one I have written the book 31 days of Hope. It is filled with personal stories of Hope especially for those in long term care or who are facing life altering challenges. Though originally released in 2017, this edition features many new devotionals that reflect world changing effects of the virus in all our lives. Here is the link for the Kindle version. This may be just what you need to give to someone else as an encouragement. You never know what a little hope can do!