My husband and I went to the mountains for a weekend escape. We arrived at night so weren’t able to take in the view until the next morning.
Our room promised a scenic vista and I was eager to check it out in the daylight. Although the mountains loomed close, they were shrouded in clouds so not as picturesque as I had hoped.
The next morning I saw an entirely different view. The mountains were the same but sun shining on the clearly defined peaks made them magnificent.
I took pictures at the same time each morning and they tell the story of the difference a day can make.
There are times in my life when the picture in front of me isn’t what I had hoped for. The days are gloomy and the future is anything but clear. It would be so easy to give in to despair.
Instead, I need to keep moving forward. My steps might not be as quick and lively as they once were but I can’t let that stop me.
I take comfort in a well-known Bible verse which says God will be with me as I walk through the dark valley. He doesn’t abandon me there. He is beside me every step of the way and will lead me to the bright sunshine once again. It may not be today or even tomorrow. All I need is the faith that a new day can make all the difference.
I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. (Psalm 121:1-2 NIV)
Brian and I walked to the lakeshore to watch the sun set. Its bright light reflected on the surface of the water as it slowly moved toward the horizon.
We wondered if the sun has its own thoughts, or reflections at the end of the day. Did it warm people as it shone on them? Did moods brighten at the sight of it? Did its heat cause some to seek shelter?
Maybe I should have the same kind of reflections as my day draws to a close. Would I be more aware of my attitude and activities if I asked myself a few simple questions every night?
Did I shine light and happiness on anyone today? Did my smile brighten a life? Were my words enough to warm a heart?
On the opposite side to this, was I harsh and unforgiving, causing those in my path to seek shelter rather than get burned?
I don’t expect each day to have clear, blue skies and no problems. That would be unrealistic. Clouds appear in everyone’s life. But, as most of us have observed, the most beautiful sunsets come when there are some clouds in the sky!
“Know what you want to do, hold the thought firmly, and do every day what should be done, and every sunset will see you that much nearer to your goal.” – Elbert Hubbard
“Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.” – Robindranath Tagore
Ominous looking clouds filled the sky, blocking the sun I’d been enjoying. The air cooled as the first raindrops hit my exposed skin. It was time to fold up my lounge chair and move inside.
A flash of lightening lit up the sky. Very close behind was a boom of thunder that shook our trailer. I was thankful for shelter as we watched the windswept rain bounce off of our table.
In less than an hour the sun reappeared, bringing with it heat that soon dried the ground.
We went for a walk along the lake shore enjoying the warm breeze. On our return we took a path through the trees and stopped to admire the black and white butterflies flitting around us.
Many people packed up and left the campground as the storm clouds gathered. We chose to stay and wait out the storm.
In life I’m also hit with sudden storms. One minute I’m relaxing in the sun and the next minute a roar of thunder shakes my world.
My initial reaction is to retreat. On my own, I don’t know how to deal with the storms. Fortunately, I’m not on my own. My faith in God tells me that he will be my shelter in the storm. I know when I rely on him he will keep me safe. There may also be lessons in the storm that I couldn’t learn any other way.
His timing is perfect and I trust that when Good leads me back to the sunshine it will be with a greater awareness of the blessings that surround me.
For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent and set me high upon a rock. (Psalm 27:5 NIV)
The morning sky was overcast as we set out for our walk. We had become accustomed to the brightness of the sunshine, but right now, it was nowhere to be seen. Looking up to the sky I could see a slight break in the clouds. It looked like the sun was fighting to break through.
This was a reminder for me that even though clouds may temporarily block my view of the sun, it is still there. At the moment it may be hidden by clouds but sooner or later it will be shining on me once again.
The Son of God, Jesus, is also known as the Light of the world. His light is always available to shine on me. Any obstacles blocking this light are of my own making. When I focus on him, and not the clouds blocking my vision, he will always break through to light my way.
The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life, of whom shall I be afraid? Psalm 27:1 NIV
Clouds had been gathering and now obscured the sun. The few remaining patches of blue sky were slowly disappearing. Then I saw it. Through one patch of clouds, the sun was beaming down in clearly defined shafts of light. It was these sunbeams, bursting through the clouds that captured my attention.
Without the clouds to block it, the sun’s light is often taken for granted. Looking at the sunbeams, forcing their way through the clouds I was reminded that, although I may not always see it, the sun is still there. It may be temporarily blocked by circumstances in my life. Above the clouds the sun is still shining. If I consciously search for it, I may be rewarded with shafts of light that are like rays of hope shining through the dark sky.
One thing I have learned is that I tend to find whatever it is I focus on. Life is gloomy when I only focus on the clouds that block the light and warmth of the sun. By shifting my focus to the glimmers of light, soon I don’t notice the clouds, only the positive effects of sun reaching out to embrace me. God’s son, Jesus, is always willing to pour out His light upon me. All that I have to do is consciously seek Him. When filled with His light and love I can, in turn, reflect this to others, so they may also feel the warmth of His love.
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father. Matthew 5:16 NKJV