Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth. – Psalm 46:10
It’s 9:00 p.m. and I am sitting alone, quietly working in my living room. As dusk begins her trek across the sky, dragging the veil of night behind her, the colors of the evening begin to glow. But tonight my senses detect something different. The colors which signal the escape of the sun seem different – unsettling and intense. The sky is aglow with oranges and yellows filling the atmosphere. Why is dusk so angry? It’s because a storm is brewing, and begrudgingly, she must share her sky.
If you live near me and saw tonight’s sky, you know exactly what I am talking about. If I were a poet, I might try to do it justice with words. If I were a photographer, I might try to capture the moment in a picture. The first paragraph and the picture that goes with it demonstrate my limitations in those fields. What I am, however, is a writer and a man who seeks the face of God in all things. Tonight, I had the opportunity to see Him in a new and wonderful place.
The colors of the sunset combined with the humidity in the air and the approaching storm to produce an eerily beautiful scene. As I watched, I was struck by the incredible irony of what I was seeing. In this brief moment, two of nature’s most amazing and contrasting forces came together and put on a show. They are amazing because of their beauty and the way they both demonstrate the power of their Creator. They are also contrasting by design. Sunsets are warm, soft and romantic. Thunderstorms are dangerous, filled with power and fury. Bringing them together only enhances these characteristics, accentuating their differences with an aura only God could produce. I stood outside, absorbing this breathtaking scene, wishing I could take a seat and gaze at the sky with a glass of wine in one hand, and the hand of a loved one in the other. Having neither, I opted for safety and returned to the house.
Friday night’s sky describes our God in a way unlike any I’ve ever experienced. Our God is a God of irony. He demonstrates power in weakness. He provides freedom through submission. We feel His strength most when we are at our lowest points. We stand tallest when we fall to our knees in prayer. And it is by the horrific death of Jesus Christ that we receive the most beautiful of gifts – eternal life.
It is the love of God that makes it possible for us to experience the fullness of life and all of its ironies. So whether we’re feeling the fury of the tempest or the serenity of the sunset, may we never forget to celebrate all of the gifts God gives us in every moment of our lives.