"They who dwell in the ends of the earth stand in awe of Your signs;
You make the dawn and the sunset shout for joy."
I grab my cup of steaming mocha latte and quietly slide open the glass door to the patio, not wanting to awaken Chuck who is in a deep sleep. It is 5:30 a.m. and I can't sleep. I want to squeeze out every single drop of our last day in Maui. So I rise to catch the sunrise.
A gentle breeze pushes back my bangs as I rest my arms on the deck railing. The stars wink at me from their pockets in the dark sky. "You'll be back someday," they reassure. The full moon hovers above, with wisps of pale white clouds occasionally gliding by and hiding its face. Palm fronds silhouette the sky and sway in the breeze. The stillness is interrupted only by an occasional passing car.
What words can I say to express what You have so eloquently expressed without words, O Lord?
I climb down the back stairwell and exit the complex for a morning stroll. The air smells like rain. It is now 6:00 a.m. and I can make out the outline of the mountain as I turn the corner to walk down the sidewalk. The sky is a deep sapphire, but slowly lightens to indigo, making the clouds appear darker. Approaching the banyan tree, I hear a full chorus of birds giving a morning concert against the backdrop of the full moon. The sky is lighter now, with the clouds over the mountain a pale grey.
I sit on the rock ledge and soak it all in. The sky is a pale blue now with subtle wisps of pink. I see lights flick on in houses that pepper the landscape at the base of the mountain. The clouds overhead break apart, forming a circle of pinks and blues, offering hope in a new morn.
It's easy to worship what we can see, rather than what we cannot see. I am reminded that the heavens and earth will one day pass away, but God's Word will remain forever! The natural elements were made by Him for our enjoyment. They were never intended to replace Him, merely to direct us to Him. And so, on this lovely and melancholy day, I worship Him. I leave all this beauty, but I do not leave HIM. Real beauty is dwelling where He is, meditating on Him and looking into His face. Now, that's tranquility, whether I am in Maui enjoying a sunrise or in Virginia watching a snowfall.
Beauty is everywhere in some form, but to know the Lord is to know beauty, no matter how ugly or trying the circumstances. And just as sure as the sun rises in the East and sets in the West, God's love will be there for me.
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