There are those who question my appreciation of the sunrise. For instance, years ago a friend gave me a wall hanging she cross stitched that said, "Had God wanted us to see the sunrise, He would have brought it up later in the day." I must admit that I am a little paradoxical in my thinking. While I do share that sentiment, and in spite of the fact that it requires that I get up early, I do actually enjoy a beautiful sunrise.
Many years ago before the wisdom that accompanies grey hair, and in the days that I was imitating an evangelist, I did much night-time traveling. Most of the traveling was by car up and down the east coast. And because my driving was through the night, I saw the sun peek up over the horizon on many occasions. I had two favorite places for observing the sunrise, one being on I-95 just north of Jacksonville, FL. This was before development obscured the view. While the ocean was not visible, there were marsh lands and tributaries which made for a captivating view of the rising sun.
The other place was in Virginia. Traveling down I-81, there was a Holiday Inn in Salem, VA. It was situated on the side of a mountain. The restaurant (you knew food would come into the story eventually) had an eastern view. One wall was nothing but windows facing east and overlooking the valley. I can still envision sitting in that restaurant enjoying the beautiful winter sunrise glistening upon a light covering of snow.
Not only does the sunrise declare the beauty of God’s creation, it also offers a ray of hope. One year I was driving through that same Shenandoah Valley on I-81 heading for Atlanta, GA. I departed Luray, VA on a Sunday night after church with the intention of beating a snow storm that was heading toward Virginia, only to discover that the storm was coming from Georgia. With every passing mile the snow grew deeper and deeper. In Roanoke, I decided it was time to give up the fight with Mother Nature. I pulled up to the only hotel I could find. The clerk came to unlock the door but instead the key broke off in the door. Screaming through the door he assured me a lock-smith would be there in an hour. I decided to get back into my 1977 Grande Prix (not exactly suited for driving in the snow) and continue on my journey. I found a big truck and followed the path he cleared. It was one of the longest nights of my life. When the sun began to peek over the horizon, it brought much needed relief. The sunrise brought the promise of a new day.
A sunrise brings many emotions to the surface of our lives. And no doubt as you look back at the sunrises of your own life, though your stories maybe altogether different than mine, we share similar emotions.
*There are times of excitement.
*Times of disappointment.
*Times of elation.
*And times of despair