I love sunsets. A few days ago while returning home from a business trip, I was again overwhelmed at the beauty of a sunset. As the plane began its descent into the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, the sun had just set below the horizon. The bright, blue sky slowly transformed into a deep orange. The beauty of it brought me to tears as I began to ponder the wonder of God.
Staring through that small, oval window, I thought back to other sunsets I had seen in my life. A few of them, I can remember so vividly. As I recalled each of those memorable sunset experiences, I discovered an incredible similarity: the most beautiful sunsets always followed an intense storm.
One evening, during my senior year at college in Austin, a tornado ripped through the area touching down in various parts of the city. We sat in our living room watching the local news, tracking the storm’s movements across the area. Amazingly, the brunt of the storm passed right over us. We could hear the powerful winds outside ripping through trees.
But, the storm passed quickly, and everyone jumped back into the daily grind of things. I, on the other hand, went outside to survey the damage. Tree limbs were broken. Leaves were scattered. The wrath of the winds became obvious.
As I stepped out into the street trying to track the tail-end of the storm, I gazed upon one of the most beautiful sunsets I had ever seen. I quickly ran in and told my friends, “Come look at this!” They were reluctant at first but eventually agreed. Standing there in the street, we stared in awe at the thick thunderheads that were painted purple and orange. It was beautiful!
Our lives are full of storms. Storms of panic and fear. Storms that destroy and discourage. And just like the storms in Texas, these storms of life blow in quickly, doing lots of damage. Other times, they linger creating havoc and chaos. We question “Why, Lord?” We stomp our feet and cry out to God for comfort. Too often, it seems, our answer is painful silence.
Staring at that sunset just a few days ago from the plane, I sensed the still, small voice of the Lord say, “Russ, storms will come. It’s inevitable. But, where the storms destroy, I can rebuild. I can create the most beautiful sunset from any storm that blows into your life.”
You can make it through the storm with God’s help. Trust in him, and remember that God “causes everything to work together for the good of those who love him and are called according to his purpose for them” (Romans 8:28).
Prayer: Father, while in the storm, it is so hard to see the beauty that can come of it. It just seems too powerful, too overwhelming, too destructive. Give me a glimpse of the sunset you have in mind for this storm. Give me the courage and peace to trust you in this dark hour.