I stood on the beach in Clearwater, Florida with hundreds of other spectators. The children were running in and out of the surf, the noise of laughter and constant talking surrounded me, and I stood with my camera pressed against my eye. The intensity of the sun made it impossible to see the tiny sailboat as it approached the center of the sun. I engaged a young boy who was traveling with our party. “Please watch that sailboat. When it gets in the center of the sunlight, tell me to shoot my picture.”
You Can’t Rush A Sunset
A few moments later a sudden silence fell over the crowd on the beach as we all turned to watch the sun begin its journey into the sea. There we stood – strangers – bonded together in awe as the nightly sunset video played out before our eyes. We waited silently, almost holding our breath. And then it happened, the last drop of gold fell into the horizon and we all burst into a spontaneous round of applause. We were celebrating another beautiful sunset.
I Needed A Sunset Celebration
Last night I drove to Sunset Point in Augusta, Kentucky. I needed a sunset to celebrate.
There were things on my mind and troubling my soul. I needed a respite. I needed solitude to quiet my heart from the worries that had accumulated and needed deep-cleaning. Throughout the day my thoughts had been on many in my family and friendship circle who were facing enormous trials. I wanted to fix their pain. I wanted them to be able to rush to the finish line and see good outcomes in all these situations.
As I thought on all these things I prayed for the people involved. I meditated on scriptures I had memorized as a young girl in Mrs. Redmond’s GA class in Owensboro, Kentucky. “Behold the birds of the air; for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather in the barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them…who of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature…consider the lilies of the field how they grow, they toil not, yet even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these” (Matthew 6:26-34). I sang a little tune based on a Bible verse, “I will cast all my cares upon Him”.
Just the memory of these precious words of truth led me to this beautiful spot in Augusta. It was time for me to watch a sunset. Because it was fully daylight, I was in for a wait. You can’t rush a sunset any more than you can rush quick resolutions and solutions to life’s sticky, uncomfortable, painful, and troubling situations. You must wait…and sometimes wait and wait, and wait. And so I settled in for my sunset watch and wait.
The longer I waited, the more I began to notice things around me to celebrate. God doesn’t allow situations to overwhelm us and then abandon us while we are experiencing the trials – He is with us and will sustain us (Psalm 55:22).
I Begin to Celebrate the Little Things
- A gnarled piece of driftwood – no longer able to provide shade as a mighty tree on the hillside, provides a place for the local fishermen to sit while they cast their lines.
- A storm-damaged tree continues to do what it was made to do – grow and provide shade.
- The Jenny Ann Ferry, longest operating ferry on the Ohio River…faithfully carries cars and walkers across the Ohio everyday, all day 8:00am -8:00pm.
- A shady picnic area provides a place for relaxing beside the river – nostalgic of days gone by when my family stopped at roadside parks for breakfast, lunch, and supper as we traveled countless country roads.
- Beauty in the reflections and movement of the water as the sun begins to change the color palette.
- Beautiful color, texture and contrast of the foliage and water as they dance in the gentle breeze.
And Still Waiting On The Sunset
As darkness envelopes me and the sunset casts its beauty across the river, I am at peace. My spirit is refreshed and renewed.
I drive away from Sunset Point with praises on my lips and blessings stored in my heart “From the rising of the sun to the going down of there of the name of the Lord is to be praised” (Psalm 113:3).
No, you can’t rush a sunset, but the reward is always worth the wait.
How about you? Where do you experience sunset worship prayers and praises?