In John 10:10, Jesus says, “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”
When we read this passage, we may be tempted to think of abundance in terms of wealth or material possessions, but I sense that Jesus had something entirely different in mind.
Like sunrises and sunsets, for example.
My husband and I have been blessed with a beautiful park near our home, and I’ve encountered scenes like this one several times when driving or walking around the lagoon at dusk.
I must say there are few things more awe-inspiring than the vivid colors that seem to bounce off the treetops just as the sun prepares to set, especially in the fall.
Unless it’s beholding a “mackerel” sunset as I walk out my front door.
Or an entire sky that has turned solid pink.
Of course, beauty doesn’t always have to be brilliantly ostentatious. Sometimes it’s subtle, as in this scene of a setting sun poking through the mist behind snow-covered branches.
In tough times, I’ve found sunrises and sunsets to be pure balm for the soul.
One night (among many this past year), I don’t think I managed more than an hour of sleep as I lay awake pondering the pandemic, the political situation in our country and a series of little crises closer to home, while asking myself and God one anxious question after another. But then I happened to glance out the window just as the sun was rising. The scene in front of me was enough to put my angst-ridden brain on pause for several minutes.
At the tail end of an exhausting week about a year and a half ago, some longtime friends invited my husband and I to join them at an all-you-can-eat buffet for a feast of serious comfort food. As I stepped out of the car and walked through the restaurant’s parking lot, God greeted me with this stunning display of abundantly extravagant beauty.
I like to begin each new day by reciting Psalm 118:24: “This is the day that the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it!” I must admit some situations pose a challenge to this resolution, but sunrises and sunsets always give me a reason to rejoice and be glad.