One of the Christmas gifts I received this year was a wee painting from a dear friend. This is Knocknarea at sunset…
I shared with my friend last week that the painting is especially meaningful because of the way God uses sunsets to speak with me. I found a post I wrote almost exactly two years ago about what sunsets speak to me, and shared it with her.
As I read the post again, I realized that it is still applicable to my life two years later. This may be cheating, but I’m going to copy the post below. I pray it is encouraging to you…
Sunsets & Beauty – Originally posted 13 January 2014
As I was writing and studying this past week, I started listening to the Hans Zimmer station on Pandora. There is nothing like epic soundtrack music to help one write a story about a crazy trip across a country or read through nursing CEUs. While listening though, I was introduced to the music of Phillip Wesley. (I now own 1.5 of Mr. Wesley’s albums, and I’m sure that number would be higher had the credit in my iTunes account been higher.)
The album Pandora introduced me to is called the Dark Night of the Soul, and I was captivated each time one of the songs would come on. The above song, “Race Against The Sunset”, was one that was played, and even without words it spoke to me. You see, sunsets speak to me, or rather God speaks to me through them.
I have always loved sunsets, and in that aspect of nature more than any other, I have heard God whisper of His love for me.
I am a morning person. Provided I get to bed early enough to get a decent amount of sleep, I love being up early, getting things done, enjoying the stillness of morning, and on occasion watching the sky light up with the colors of a new dawn. And yet, sunrise rarely speaks to me in the way that a sunset does.
After a particularly radiant display on my birthday a couple of years ago, I asked God why it is that the colors of the evening speak so much to my heart. The response was both encouraging and terrifying.
These are the words I wrote in my journal the following day. “I feel like You said that the sunset was ‘our thing’ because it is the whisper and promise of incredible beauty even in the coming of the dark night (of the soul?)… A little scary because it is as much a promise of darkness in the coming time as of the promise it is meant to confirm. But there will be beauty in the midst of it that can be breathtaking and make the light that much more glorious when it comes.”
The painted sky became my reminder from God that He is trustworthy and beauty was present no matter how much light or darkness surrounds me. And that reminder has been a lifeline in the last 2 1/2 years.
I hate to complain because compared with so many people, my life seems beyond easy, but my own journey, though devoid of outward problems, has been on some dark paths recently. I can’t point to one specific thing that made these years so difficult, but it has been a time of stretching, questioning, and a fair amount of inner turmoil.
As I have listened to this CD over the past week or so, I have gravitated to a song near the end of the album called “Into the Light”. I feel God whispering to my soul that the dark night is ending and I am moving at last into the light of a new dawn. As they always do, another night will come, and I will face the setting sun again in the future, but I still have my promise from God that those times will be filled with the Beauty that is Him.
In the mean time, I am going to appreciate and enjoy the coming dawn and the new day, the new chapter of my life that it will bring. I don’t have a clue what that day will bring, but I know that good things are coming. God is building a sense of anticipation and expectancy deep in me for what is to come, and I am excited to walk the journey by His side and see just what He does along the way.
For more info on Philip Wesley’s music, visit his website: http://philipwesley.com/