A friend of mine recently caught this picture of a San Diego sunset and it has been on my mind ever since. There’s SOMETHING about sunsets lately that has captivated me. I have been pondering the lesson God has for me in them. He’s been revealing Himself so much to me through nature recently. As I thought about it, I pondered what I know about sunsets. Not surprisingly, what I THOUGHT I knew was totally wrong.
You’ve probably heard it said that pollution causes beautiful sunsets, but it turns out that it doesn’t. That’s a myth and NOT a scientific fact. I was going to write about how the hard stuff in my life (the pollution) will eventually lead to the creation of something beautiful in my life. That may be true, but that’s not the lesson God had for me in the sunset.
Here’s what I found out:
“What we see with our human eyes is just a tiny part of the electromagnetic radiation that’s given off by the sun. That radiation contains a wide spectrum of wavelengths, but your eyes are only sensitive to certain parts of it: the so-called visible wavelengths. Different colors are associated with different wavelengths.
And depending on what happened to the light before it got to you, some of those visible wavelengths don’t even reach your eye. Portions of it are absorbed and filtered out in the atmosphere.
So really, there’s a good sunset every night; we just can’t always see it from the ground.
Our eyes are sensitive to a very tiny part of the spectrum of the sun’s wavelengths, and that’s responsible for the way we see our environment. Other creatures seem able to see the ultraviolet area of the spectrum. We can only see a tiny part of what’s going on.” (Red Sky at Night: The Science Behind Sunsets, NationalGeographic.com)
So, THERE’S my lesson. I only see a tiny part of what’s going on.
This is a CONSISTENT message that God has been trying to teach me lately and He got my attention again through the MANY beautiful sunsets I have seen recently. Only GOD can see the whole picture. He is working behind the scenes on my behalf AND using EVERY PART of my journey toward His eternal plan. 1 Corinthians 13: 12 says, “Now we see but a poor reflection; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.”
Rick Warren says that trying to understand eternity is “like teaching an ant about the Internet.” That’s about it, isn’t it? I think I know what’s best for me. I have hopes and dreams and I cling to promises that I THINK God has given me, but the truth is, I really can’t see the whole spectrum of God’s plans OR His workings. I need to trust what I know to be true from His Word. So, that’s what I’ll do. I won’t assume that I KNOW what He wants for my future, I’ll trust that it’s good. I won’t assume that the plans in my heart are HIS purpose for my future. I won’t look at the past and assume that my future will look the same, NOR try to figure out what it WILL be like.
“’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I WILL LISTEN TO YOU. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.’” Jeremiah 29:11-13
“Many are the plans in a man’s (OR woman’s) heart, but it is the LORD’S purpose that prevails.” Proverbs 19:21
“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?” Isaiah 43:18-19
“When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider: God has made the one as well as the other. Therefore, a man cannot discover anything about his future.” Ecclesiastes 7: 14
So, the next time you see a sunset, let it be a reminder that there’s something even MORE beautiful there that your eyes cannot see. There’s a Creator who made the Universe and holds you in the palm of His hand who is working ALL things for His eternal glory. While we can’t SEE the big picture, HE can and someday, when we see Him face-to-face, the whole spectrum of His goodness will be totally clear to us! Until then, let’s marvel in His Presence and Power in our lives. He is GOOD.