"Sunrise" - 2012/12/4 - KL pending
"The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, shining ever brighter till the full light of day."
There's just something special about watching the sunrise in the morning. Our world moves at such a pace and most of us fill our evenings with entertainment and the obligatory 10 o'clock news that watching the sunrise is only something we do if absolutely necessary. We would much prefer to sleep in. The last sunrise I took time to see was the morning after a long day of teaching and ministry in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. I decided I needed to get up and take a run along the beach. I reasoned that since I was subjecting myself to go for a run (which I hate) I might as well add something pleasant to the drudgery of it.
It was dark and quiet as I made my way down the street to a small private boardwalk leading to the beach. I could hear sea gulls and the sound of waves lapping on the shore. It was quite peaceful. Tempted more than once to turn back and get a few more precious minutes of sleep, I pressed on until I saw the Atlantic Ocean dimly lit from the warm glow that seems to bubble out of the far end of sea. It didn't take long before the sun began to creep up and crest the horizon. The darkness scattered. The air grew warm. It was like watching the world wake up. Suddenly I noticed people emerging from their homes, and like me, going for their morning jog on the beach. Most people had missed it. Not me. I saw it. I saw the amazing miracle of another day. Like a promise from God that no matter how dark the night He is faithful to bring the light.
When you read Proverbs 4:18, you realize that Solomon had seen a sunrise. Sure, we've all seen a sunrise. But, have you really experienced a sunrise? Have you watched in wonder as God brings forth a new day? This is the perspective from which the wisdom of this proverb stems. What does he mean by, "The path of the righteous?" This phrase gives attention to day to day choices made by people seeking to honor God in all they do. Nearly every Christian I know can relate to the struggle of choosing the righteous path. Sometimes it feels like you are the only one doing right, the only one who cares about God. Sometimes the path of the righteous feels a lot like walking in the dark. Yet as we choose to remain faithful to God we begin to see the light. We see hope in our suffering. Make no mistake, all righteous choices have some element of suffering. You must say, "no" to self to say, "yes" to God. And in those moments, when we wonder why we decided to go the way of the righteous, we see the light. The decision becomes more clear with time. The sun is rising on our righteousness and we begin to see the blessing in our suffering. We begin to see the fruit of our labor. We begin to see the right in our righteousness. This is the way it works on the path of righteousness. You don't often have the luxury of seeing it all before you decide. Sometimes you just have to choose it, stick with it and let the sun rise. You never truly know the blessing of the righteous choice in advance.
So today, in some way you stand in the darkness of a decision. Before you is the path of the righteous and the easier, more convenient, immediately gratifying, self-centered path. What will you choose?
Will you stay committed to your marriage?
Will you get even with the person who wronged you?
Will you indulge in the vice that keeps pulling you in?
Will you withhold good from another?
Will you be greedy?
Will you lose your temper?
Will you lie?
Will you just do nothing?
It's dark out there…but not for long.
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