So one day I asked him if we could plan a big trip for our 40th anniversary.
Months later I asked him for a small day trip.
This is what I wrote at the time -
“Funds are tight. Really tight”
“God keeps us and holds us through it all.”
“Big trips can wait.”
“Big trips don’t have to happen at all!”
When the day arrived, we woke up early and headed out to our favorite place.
We went to the ocean.
Over the years, I have come to love how this place awakens my senses.
The smell of salt water in the breeze, the sound of the waves on the shore and the call of birds, the feel of mold-able wet sand under my feet and the way the breeze blows the tall grass but does not blow the waves that move always back and forth on the shore.
God’s majesty and creativity is just so absolutely amazing there.
Few places reach deep into my soul like the edge of the ocean.
That is why we went to walk on the beach, the place where the sun wakes up the morning.
The place where God would start our day… OUR special day…in HIS glorious way.
And He did. Rays of sun light showing pink the edge of the world… slowly brightening the horizon until the pink changed to a golden white glow as the sun starts rising above the curvature of the world.
The ocean at sunrise seems a perfect place.
And then our day took off.
The rest of the day was filled with the kind of things you would think a day would be filled with when two people lead an ordinary life. There were plenty of things that needed doing at our house, and we tackled them with all the gusto that goes along with knowing the value of a day, the value of every day.
Because sometimes, you forget that each day, each moment is very much a gift.
The sunrise helps you remember that.
The darkness goes, and a new day begins.
There is hope.
There is always hope.
Because this day was one that marked a milestone, memories were shared, tears were shed and much laughter; so much laughter!
So much to be thankful for in our lives.
It had all the feel of a perfect day.
After dinner, we made a quick stop at a grocery store; an ordinary stop at an ordinary place.
But we do not serve an ordinary God.
He has a way of reminding us.
As we were checking out, I glanced outside and what I saw took my breath away.
The sun was setting, and doing so in a most glorious display.
The sky was filled with all manner of color; shades of turquoise, stunning pinks and gold hues filled the sky!
I pointed it out to Bud.
I pointed it out to the woman at the check-out.
Giddy like a child who catches a glimpse of a surprise just revealed, I pointed it out to anyone who would look!
I went outside to get pictures before it was gone and while I tried to find the right place to stand and capture the moment, a man came up behind me.
“Wow, huh? Just wow!”
A mother pointed it out to her young daughter while she searched for her own camera.
An ordinary grocery store parking lot, transformed, as person after person made notice of the display of grandeur taking place in the sky.
As we left, I was almost certain I heard it. “And you thought the sunrise was amazing”
There was no place more amazing at that moment for me.
No place would I rather have been.
Incline your heart toward God… Look for His glory in the ordinary.
He is the one that make moments glorious.
And sometimes He does that in the most mundane of places.
Even in a grocery store parking lot.
Bud said, “The perfect ending of a perfect day”
Amen, and amen.
The problems we faced at that time did not go away because of this amazing day.
Some of them still linger.
You face them too.
But we can know God is good in spite of the hard things we face.
And His nearness? That is my good.
It is your good too.
No matter what the circumstances that surround us may bring.
We can only appreciate the miracle of the sunrise if we have waited in the darkness.
I have set the Lord continually before me;
because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken