Beautiful isn’t it? A canvas of colors that shatters the darkness of every night; no matter how long the night, he sunrise of hope greets every day and no two sunrises are ever the same!
“But for you who revere my name, the Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in its rays.”Malachi 4:2
I know most people prefer a beautiful sunset; but my honest preference is the sunrise. As I launch my blog, I could think of no other topic to represent new beginnings like the thought of a sunrise. While this is a new beginning for me as a blogger, it is not a new beginning for me in walking the journey through suffering. Death, pain, loss, abuse, betrayal; strange friends that have handed me brokenness, heartache and grief. Friends that I know more intimately than I would have chosen; friends that not only visit in the darkness, but at times, shroud me in that darkness. Are you afraid of the dark? Yea, me too.
When I was a little girl, I dreamed I would grow up, get married (to a handsome husband), have children, a beautiful house, a dog and, well, all of the things little girls dream about! “My story” did not include death, divorce, sexual abuse, physical and emotional abuse, financial instability, alcoholism, betrayal, mental illness, job loss, or a myriad of other losses, pain and suffering. I did not envision myself sitting with broken things in darkness so thick I could taste it.
Then came the sunrise; or more accurately, the Sonrise. I mentioned that I honestly prefer sunrises; the reason is that no matter how long the night, the sun always rises. No matter how long the night, hope comes in the promise of a new day. So it is with Jesus Christ; no matter how dark the journey, no darkness can quench the light of the Son. My journey has been full of brokenness, full of suffering, but there’s something else, too, serenity, intimacy, joy. Those things were gifts I did not expect to find in the darkness; but gifts found as a result of realizing I was not alone. Contrary to what I thought, God did not send me into the darkness, He went before me and invited me there, but not only that, He embraced me there.
The Invitation to Hope
Crazy right? Not the kind of invitation to which you are eager to RSVP! Yet I found a way of wholeness, healing, beauty and intimacy that can only be found in the dark. When it seemed I could not find my way, the voice of His Word would show me the way. When I asked that the darkness be removed, He would beckon me deeper still into the treasures of the darkness. When I was fearful, the voice of His Word gave me strength, courage. It was in the darkness I learned to breathe, I learned to rest, I learned to listen, I learned to see with the eyes of my soul. It was in the darkness I was fully known, heard and loved.
“And I will give you treasures hidden in the darkness; secret riches. I will do this so you may know that I am the LORD, the God of Israel, the One who calls you by name.”Isaiah 45:3
The Treasure of the Sunrise
I liken suffering to deep darkness because that is what it feels like; I cannot see nor am I seen. Like darkness, suffering comes and goes, ebbs and flows; some suffering seems to be endless while some seems to resolve more quickly. So it is with the night; not one night is exactly the same length as another. Of one thing we are sure, the night will fall, and the night will end. So it is with suffering; make no mistake, it will come, but it will also end. The sunrise is our gift each day painted by God Himself to remind us that no night will ever eclipse the sun. So it is with His Presence in the darkness of suffering; no suffering can quench the light of the Son, for intimacy with Him is the Treasure of the darkness.
Every sunrise reminds me of the hope I have in God’s goodness, that there is no need to fear suffering and darkness because nothing can separate me from God’s Great Love.
“And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow; not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below, indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.”Romans 8:38-39