Its an honour to welcome my very first guest to the blog:
Nichole J Suvar
Why are we captivated by sunsets and sunrises? Is it because of the beautiful colors they cast throughout the sky? Or, because they are complete in such a short amount of time, we feel the need to stop and capture them? Though our mind is unaware, our soul craves the messages that God has woven into His daily light show.
Sunrises feel full of optimism and hope. They are a steady, every-morning reminder that God is constant. It rises to bring us back to the truth that God’s “mercies are new every morning” (Lamentations 3:22-23)
A few years back my husband and I looked to check an item off our bucket list: hike to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and back up in one day. Because we were doing it in July, and heat indexes were predicted to be in the 140 degree range, we planned on starting our hiking trek around 4AM, while it was still dark. We were about an hour into our trek when the first hints of light appeared on the horizon. As we continued to hike, we were eventually rewarded with a view of the sunrise. Bits of pink and yellow as the sun rose to greet the morning. I’m rarely in a spot where I can watch the sunrise, and this was a beautiful moment. When we started hiking in the dark, we were confident that eventually the light would come; that the sun would rise. We did not doubt it. We knew it would happen.
When I start to doubt God’s goodness and His plan, I remind myself of the sunrise. Psalm 130:5-6 (NIV) states:
I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits,
and in his word I put my hope.
I wait for the Lord
more than watchmen wait for the morning
You see that? MORE than a watchman who is waiting for the morning, is God’s faithfulness. We never doubt the sunrise, so why should we doubt the Creator of the very sun itself?
On the flip side, consider the sunset. Often there is a calm around dusk. We notice it often here in the Midwest United States. We can have a blustery, breezy day but, when the sun is close to setting, often the wind begins to still and there is a sense of peace. In the summer, in the middle of wheat harvest, when the farmers are running their combines even as evening fades, it brings a filter and beauty to the sunset sky.
I recently completed a study on Genesis with our Sunday School class. I arrogantly went into the study thinking I knew all there was to know about Genesis 1. God created it all, it was separated into six different days of Creation, and then He rested on the seventh. But, as I read Genesis 1 again, I noticed something that I hadn’t before. A phrase that was repeated six different times:
“And there was evening and there was morning…”
Previously, I had always read Genesis 1 as ‘God worked all day creating and then it was night.’ But it actually is reversed. The sun sets, followed by the morning.
The Hebrews followed this same pattern of days throughout the Old and New Testament. Their days began at sundown.
Why would God set it up this way? Why the darkness first? Because He knew. He knew that Eden wouldn’t remain. That the humans He created would want things their way and not His. He knew that darkness was coming to this world He created. And when this world would be plunged into the darkness of sin, we would need hope. Hope that the sun would rise again. Hope that the Son would rise again.
I love the imagery this presents. As we watch a sunset we can be reminded that God knows our deepest, darkest pain. He knows that our hearts are aching for something better. And as we watch the sun fade into the horizon and darkness takes over, we can rest in knowing that God has a plan much bigger and better than anything we could ever create on our own.
Psalms always says it so beautifully:
The heavens declare the glory of God,
and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.
Day to day pours out speech,
and night to night reveals knowledge.
Psalm 19:1-2 (ESV)
Our present time is like the night, the sun has set and we are in the dark. But we can take heart, because we know, without a doubt, just like the sun rising in the morning, God’s rescue plan is in place and He will not be deterred. We live in a dark, sinful world, but God sets the sun in the sky, with its steady rhythm of setting and rising, to comfort us and give us hope.
A little about Nichole:
Born out of her struggle with anxiety and depression, Nichole found help and solace in focusing on small moments of intentional living in everyday life. She is a writer who desires for women to know that they are created for a purpose and that even the struggle of anxiety can be a tool to help point us to our Savior and live a life that brings Him glory. In hopes of encouraging others to take small moments of each day to intentionally seek after Jesus, in every area of their life, she has been sharing her journey of striving to live an intentional life on her blog The Intentional Life. Nichole currently lives in Fort Wayne, IN, with her husband Paul, and three children, Owen, Hannah, and Madeline. In her free time, she enjoys training for half marathons, discovering new hiking paths, being an advocate for various mission organizations, and curling up with a good mystery novel. You can learn more about Nichole and practical ways to live an intentional life by visiting her blog or Instagram page. You can also receive her weekly blog posts in your inbox by signing up here.