Psalm 84:10-12 (NLT)
A single day in your courts is better than a thousand anywhere else! I would rather be a gatekeeper in the house of my God than live the good life in the homes of the wicked. For the Lord God is our sun and our shield. He gives us grace and glory. The Lord will withhold no good thing from those who do what is right. O Lord of Heaven’s Armies, what joy for those who trust in you.
Arriving in “sunny” south Florida for a conference, it was disappointing to encounter more overcast cold weather. Hopeful that when we arrived, the sun would be shining providing a little warmth in the midst of unusually cold weather for our state. Granted that during these events there is seldom enough time to enjoy the lush resorts where they take place, it is still quite nice to get a quick walk in here and there to bask in the tropical breeze and soak in the unprecedented light. People travel from all over the world to encounter the sunshine and beaches of Florida. However, the superstar of the South had been hiding behind clouds and cold winds for the last couple of days. Why is it so depressing when the sun doesn’t shine? Most of the time, people are so wrapped up in busy schedules and daunting routines, what does it matter that the sun does not shine outside when it would not be seen anyway other than through a filtered window or a shadow somewhere? Sitting in the conference room listening to the speaker who was now thirty minutes over his allotted time, his words just seemed to drone on and on. The palm trees behind him caught my attention swaying in the wind and I saw it. The light of the sun was out which meant behind me the sun was shining somewhere over the water. Longing to be set free, I hurried to my hotel room to see the sun before it set for the day. Throwing open the curtains and then the doors, I could feel the sunshine overtake me. There over the water shining and reflecting glorious light hung the sun as it slowly began its evening decent. Breathtaking and beautiful I closed my eyes and willed my mind, soul and body to soak it up before it was gone for the night. It made me smile. I felt refreshed and revitalized in that moment. All because I saw the sun. My friend and coworker stopped by so we could go to dinner, I pulled her out on the balcony as well. After some goading, she stopped to watch the sunset with me. At first, she didn’t see the point until she felt the warmth of the light and the tickling of her senses, too. The sun rises and sets every single day taken for granted in its effort. But when it doesn’t shine, we look for it. I knew that the Lord was speaking to me in that sunset so I decided to look for Him.
Did you know that sunlight promotes the production of vitamin D in our body? We need sunlight for healthy bones among many other benefits that come from this necessity in our physical being. Sunlight also is a natural antidepressant that promotes the production of serotonin in the brain. Long periods of darkness or ever overcast weather is proven to cause depression in many people, so it is scientifically proven that human beings need sunlight physically and mentally. So what about spiritually? God is our sun and shield who gives us grace and glory. We need to live in the Light of His Love to be spiritually healthy as well. Those who live by His Grace in His Glory will be filled with inexpressible joy and indescribable peace that comes from an unseen source. When we stand in the sunlight, we do not try to produce Vitamin D. It just naturally occurs benefiting our body. Serotonin automatically is made in our brain without a second thought. I believe that if we as believers spent more time in the Light that we would begin to experience a change in our life internally that would change the external outcomes in our life. We must look for the Light.
Psalm 37:3-7 (NLT)
Trust in the Lord and do good. Then you will live safely in the land and prosper. Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires. Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him, and he will help you. He will make your innocence radiate like the dawn, and the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun. Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for him to act. Don’t worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes.
When I stayed with our son during his recent bone marrow transplant, it entailed almost two months in the hospital with him. I literally slept on a foldout bed in the same room with him. Each morning I would open the blinds in his room to allow light to filter in. He could not go outside for the length of his stay. But on many occasions, when missing the rest of our family or feeling isolated would begin to weigh me down, I would walk outside for a few minutes and soak in the sunshine literally. I didn’t “do” anything except find a bench and sit there for a bit. When I went back inside, I could feel the heat radiating from my skin. I instantly felt better. During that time, I could not engage in my daily routine. My schedule came to a standstill with my primary focus caring for our son which most of the time (thanks to great medicine) meant watching him sleep. In the quiet of those moments, I would seek the Lord’s Presence and sit with Him. How many times a day do you sit in the Presence of the Lord? Do you ever just bask in His Glory? Do you just absorb His Grace and the magnitude of His Love? If we looked at God for who He is I think we would see that He is more powerful than the rays of the sun? He is more majestic than a sunrise or sunset. His Love radiates a warmth that is felt in our innermost being touching our heart and healing our lives. But we miss it in the busyness of life. I will preface this statement with the obvious, I don’t ever want my son to undergo a hospital stay again. But during his previous stay, I have never felt closer to the Lord. In my isolation from the world and all its distractions, I was able to simply bask in His Glory and Grace.
Trust in the Lord. Do Good. Take delight in the Lord. Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust Him. Be still. Wait patiently. Don’t worry. Can you imagine a life based solely on these qualities? I would love to live this life every day. I believe this is the life that the Lord has designed for me in its basic simplicity. Just as I do not have to make Vitamin D or serotonin as it occurs naturally in my body, the Lord invites me to bask in the Son and He will do the same process in my soul. He will produce the joy and peace that I need by His Glory and Grace. We try so hard to make a good life and build comforts through security. The Lord promises that if we will just learn to live in His Presence that He will gives us safety and prosperity. He will give us the desires of our heart. He will help us. He will make our innocence radiate. Our justice is served in Jesus Christ. We do not have to worry, fret or stress over life or the details of it. People are not our problem. We just need to get in the Presence of God and be still for a minute to encounter His Glory and Grace.
Psalm 19:1-6 (NLT)
The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftsmanship. Day after day they continue to speak; night after night they make him known. They speak without a sound or word; their voice is never heard. Yet their message has gone throughout the earth, and their words to all the world. God has made a home in the heavens for the sun. It bursts forth like a radiant bridegroom after his wedding. It rejoices like a great athlete eager to run the race. The sun rises at one end of the heavens and follows its course to the other end. Nothing can hide from its heat.
The heavens radiate the Glory of God. The natural sun is a reflection of the Son that is our soon and coming King. The absence of sunshine in our life is like trying to live outside of the Glory of God. A believer cannot maintain their righteousness outside of His Grace. We need His Glory in our life to supernaturally produce the fruits that His Spirit cultivates in us. (Galatians 5:22-23) During seasons of darkness, we must learn to pursue the Light. It is found in the resources of His Word and His Spirit but sometimes on those days when we just can break through the oppression of life – we need to just get in His Presence and sit there. He will come and break through the clouds of darkness and despair flooding your heart and mind with the Light of His Love. But you have to make the commitment to wait until He comes. He doesn’t just shine through our bondage, pain or trouble. But according to the Word of God, He promises to break ever yoke that binds us. He is smashing strongholds to get His Glory and Grace through to you. Be patient. Do not abandon your position of faith because the Son will soon break through the clouds of doubt and fear overshadowing your life if you remain committed to your stand. He will give you the hope that you desperately need to go forward even when the natural sun does not come out from hiding to help you. If you will just make it a point to seek out the Light of His Love found only in His Presence – you will have His Glory and Grace with all of its benefits. If the sun is shining, go sit in it. God has equipped your body to be rejuvenated and empowered by His Light. He made the sun. He gave it the power to connect with the human body and do its work. All the heavens proclaim the Glory of God including the sun. It is a reflection of His Son.
Revelation 22:1-5 (NLT)
Then the angel showed me a river with the water of life, clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb. It flowed down the center of the main street. On each side of the river grew a tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, with a fresh crop each month. The leaves were used for medicine to heal the nations. No longer will there be a curse upon anything. For the throne of God and of the Lamb will be there, and his servants will worship him. And they will see his face, and his name will be written on their foreheads. And there will be no night there—no need for lamps or sun—for the Lord God will shine on them. And they will reign forever and ever.
There is coming a day when the sun will no longer shine. Its services no longer needed. The Light of His Love will shine brightly enough that we will never see another long night. Darkness will be gone forever along with every curse. We will live in His Glory forever. Understanding the natural effects of the sun will never be enough to prepare us for the Light that we will encounter in Heaven. We must learn to live in the Light of His Love every day to be prepared for what God has for us when Jesus comes back. Every day is the right time to bask in His Glory and Grace. We don’t have to wait until we are running on reserves but each day we can meet Him in the morning when His New Mercy arrives and ask for a fill up. His Spirit is with us always. In the midnight hour, we can call on His Light to illuminate us. In the dark times of life, He will be our Light and lead us out. Look for the Son today. Step into His Presence. Let the Lord revive, restore and renew you from the inside out. If you get a chance, catch the sunset tonight. Stop long enough to revel in the Glory of our God! It will be worth it, I promise. It is the moment that you realize, everything is going to be alright! Here comes the Son! Bask in His Glory today!
Job 37:21-24 (NLT)
We cannot look at the sun, for it shines brightly in the sky when the wind clears away the clouds. So also, golden splendor comes from the mountain of God. He is clothed in dazzling splendor. We cannot imagine the power of the Almighty; but even though he is just and righteous, he does not destroy us. No wonder people everywhere fear him. All who are wise show him reverence.