Here Comes the Sun

From the rising of the sun to the setting of the same the name of the Lord shall be praised. Psalms 113:3

I remember, from my years of teaching in the youth department, this verse was more often than not sung as a simple prayer. Whenever I take in either a sunrise or sunset, I am always struck with the awesomeness of God, and I am reminded once again to pray and to give God praise.

The sun, whether it is beheld in a sunrise or sunset, is such a beautiful representation of who God is. It is, above all, powerful and beautiful. Depending on the weather at the time, it is as varied as the seasons – able to change and take different forms, colors, positions in the sky and intensity. The sun when viewed either at dawn or twilight will bathe you in a soft glow of warmth and peace, as if everything is perfect in the world – at least for that moment.

In turn, the sun when noticed (for you cannot look directly at it) during the middle of the day can be harsh, relenting, even punishing. It is impossible to gaze upon directly – you need a buffer to do so. At these times, you can be tested to your full measure if you try to remain in its penetrating light during certain times of the year. Often at these times, you cannot endure the unending judgment of its rays ¬– causing you to run and hide. And in other times of the year, the sun’s warmth seems only to be available for short periods of time – leaving you feeling cold and alone – turning the world into a frigid wasteland.

In contrast, after sunset, it appears as if the sun has disappeared from your world altogether. No matter how hard you try, you cannot see it or find it. Or, so you think. In the darkness of night, the sun is still watching over you. Other objects around it, such as the moon and other planets, are still reflecting its awesome power – bouncing it back to earth to remind us that it is never truly gone. The night is a testing period – testing your faith that at the dawn, the sun will indeed once again rise, available for your gazes, your admirations, your praises.

In turn God’s character is often like the sun; always powerful, always beautiful, always sustaining. Christ is the buffer from God’s wrath and judgment. He is our mediator – the one who already took our place on judgment day.  And when we feel that God is vacant as the darkest night, remember that He is always watching and waiting for us to remove the barriers that prevent Him from shining in our own lives.

From my Sunrise Series:

What is fear?

Fear is not being in control.
It is when you are powerless to change those things around you that make you apprehensive, uncomfortable or sad.
It is very powerful.
Fear can send you careening out of control, before you even have a chance to think through a situation calmly or logically.

Is fear sometimes warranted?
Yes, There is fear of the known.
When we are in danger, it is our fight-or-flight instinct that can sometimes save us. When we are in economic distress, our fear motivates us to work harder and handle our money more wisely. When we know why we are sick, our fear prompts us to take our medicine and listen to doctor’s orders.

But when we fear the unknown, it can become paralyzing – stopping us in our tracks, unable to even breath.
These unknowns can be sounds, sights or even aches and pains – especially the aches and pains. Unknown attacks on our bodies cause us much fear. In the absence of a verified diagnosis, we conjure up countless ailments – most which can cause us more pain and more fear.
Fearing what we don’t even know to be true may seem irrational; but often our bodies do not mesh with our intellect. And in this day of modern technology, access to all things Google can only serve to intensify our already out of control thought patterns.

Often the simplist things from nature is all it takes to remind me who is in control.

Often this type of fear leads to anger.
Anger at the unknown.
Anger at family members.
Anger at God.
Anger because nothing about life is ever fair.

Unfortunately, the anger leads to another emotion – guilt. Although the anger seems warranted, we cannot stop the feelings of guilt any more than we can stop the fear. What we are left with is that overwhelming feeling of despair.

Is there an answer? My faith and intellect says turn to God, read scriptures, pray – but the anger keeps me from it.
I want to scream, rant, cry, ask why, but not even those reactions would do much to alleviate the fear, the anger, the guilt.

So what am I left with?
Do I succumb to the fear? Or do I refuse to allow it to overcome me?
It boils down to trust.
Because of my faith, I have to trust that the God that I have given my life to knows more than I do. And in spite of my anger and my inability to talk to Him right now, I still know within my core that He is in control and ultimately, no matter how afraid or angry I am, there is nothing that I can do or say to change anything.

Fear equals fate; or God’s plan, depending on how you look at it.
Some would call this a crisis of belief; perhaps it is – but I won’t know for sure until the unknown is made known. So, maybe never.

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