Life, death, and a sunrise

You might think I’m reading too much into it, but I see every gorgeous #sunrise as a promise. It’s a reminder that God is who He says He is. He is good. He loves us. It’s a promise of things to come. The light will always break through the darkness. The things He creates are beautiful works of art. I’m not just talking about this sunrise or the Andromeda Galaxy. I’m talking about you and me. He created us. We are beautiful works of art, living in a messed up world.

After watching hundreds of sunrises, I have an observation. The most glorious sunrises often follow the darkest nights full of wicked storms. We might be tempted to shake our fist in rage at the heavens, cursing God for the storms…demanding answers. But we must remember…this isn’t the world He created. This is not “as good as it gets.” He has better plans and a better home for us. This world is a waypoint on the journey.

This past weekend was full of life events for me. A good friend had a precious baby on Friday… a glorious celebration of life in spite of numerous difficulties. I enjoyed some great time with friends and family. Those were treasured moments And my uncle passed away unexpectedly at 48, leaving many of us asking “Why?” These are the highs and lows of life. I witnessed them all in one weekend.

In the middle of it all, there was God. With us. Within us. Reminding us the He is good and that we are His finest masterpiece. Life comes and goes. We celebrate the new and grieve those who are gone. New life is a reminder of the potential that is within us all. Those first beautiful breaths cry out defiantly, storming this crazy planet with innocence…declaring that good does still exist, regardless of how things may appear at times.

My uncle’s last breath is a reminder of the weight of eternity that is written in our hearts. No matter what you believe, your life on this planet will end. No matter your worldview, you have no idea how many more breaths you have. Time is short. Time is precious. But even as I stood in my uncle’s apartment yesterday waiting for the medical examiner, a beautiful light was shining through his colorfully painted windows. It was a midday echo of the sunrise, created by combining my uncle’s unique talents with God’s great glory. “I’m here. I’m walking through this with you. With all of you.” A quiet prayer among acquaintances brought comfort and the first steps toward healing. A police officer spoke incredible and uplifting words of faith and encouragement. God was there. Shining through. Yes, this life is temporary. And for those of us mourning a loss the hole left in our life feels like it can’t ever be filled.

The grief and emptiness has a meaning and we would be wise not to be too quick to dismiss it. It’s a reminder that this isn’t the end. We weren’t designed for loss, so loss wounds us terribly. But in that loss we can feel the promise of a world to come. A world where this is no more sorrow, no more suffering, and no more pain. A world where reconciliation isn’t simply possible, but is reality.

That’s what I see in every beautiful sunrise. A promise of the glorious things to come. Faith. Hope. Love. Redemption.