the story room

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Smelling the sunset

The following is an email I sent to a friend earlier this week (with minor adaptations to make it suitable for a blog, as opposed to a personal email). Anyway, I was so blessed by the experience I wrote about that I wanted to share it with you all as well:

It was really cloudy down here today. I worked at the pool from 3:30 til close, and it was really slow, because the cloudiness really deterred people from wanting to come and swim.

So, right as I was getting ready to leave at 8:30 tonight, I looked up in the sky, and before me was an absolutely beautiful sunset. Though the sky was blanketed with clouds all day and evening, the sky broke open enough to close the day with a sunset that literally took my breath away. It was beautiful.

Sunsets always do something to me. Every time I get a chance to watch something like that, I can't help but think of God's faithfulness in causing the sun to rise and set every single day. The rising and the setting of the sun sing clearly the song of our Father's faithfulness to me. Every time I see the sun set, I can almost audibly hear the Holy Spirit, in the strong, stern, gentle voice of a father, say to me, "Erin Michele, I have been faithful to you today. In the heat of the day, in the pain, in the joy, in the frustration, and in the everyday-ness of life, I have been with you. I did not leave your side for a second, and I carried you through, till the very end of the day. And let this be a reminder to you that as the darkness sets in, I will be faithful to you tonight as well. Whatever darkness or fear or uncertainty meets you tonight, I will be with you, faithful as I have always been." And in the same way, when I can catch a morning sunrise, with our Father's big arms around me, I can hear him say, "I've taken care of you tonight. Let that be a reminder that I will be faithful to you today as well."

So, as I was walking back to my car from work tonight, I heard His voice again, and I had to literally stop in my tracks, staring at the sunset, and listening to those comorting, familiar words. And I realized tonight that He not only says, "Erin Michele, I have been faithful to you", but He also says, "My sons and daughters scattered throughout the entire earth...the whole world that I have created: I have been faithful to you, little ones. Hunger and thirst for my righteousness, because I have been faithful to you, and I promise you that I will deal righteously in this fallen and broken world, and will restore things and make them right again."

And as I stood there, breathing in as deeply as I could the smell of the sunset-tinted air, I felt God's grace rest heavily upon me...and upon His world.

It makes me think of all the worries and concerns I'd been wrestling with recently, and they were never in such clear perspective as they were then. Now, added to the image I've had of following Jesus at his heels, I now look up and see the huge sky burning with pink and orange, and see our Father stretch His hands over the entire expanse as He says, "As you follow me, I will be faithful to you. Holy and sovereign and are under my canopy and in my hands. Remember my faithfulness to you, and know that I will continue to be nothing but faithful."

And then to think that this huge, mighty God, filling the whole earth, would stoop down to whisper in my your ears...and say, "Daughters and sons, I am choosing you to tell of my faithfulness, and to be an instrument of my righteousness on earth" How can I respond but to fall to my knees in humble submission and gratitude...and then to rise with courage?

And then as I was riding home, I was playing a Waterdeep song, and the words of Psalm 131 filled my ears. The words are such an appropriate response.

Here's the psalm, in the words of Waterdeep:

O Lord, my heart is not lifted up.
My eyes are not raised too high for Thee.
I do not think on things too great or marvelous

Or matters too difficult for me.
But I have calmed and quieted my soul
Like a weaned child is my soul within me.
And I have calmed and quieted my soul
Like a weaned child with his mother is my soul.
Oh Israel trust in the Lord, from this time forth and forevermore.

Thanks be to God.

May the grace of our King rest upon you heavily. May His faithfulness cause you to rise in courage.


Blogger gerbmom said...

Thanks so much for sharing that - you have encouraged my heart......

13 July, 2005 10:45  
Blogger Erin said...

Karen, I'm humbled that God would use my experience and words to encourage you. That encourages me as well. : )

13 July, 2005 21:34  

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