Whispered Hope

I watched the sunrise at the beach on Saturday morning. I was staying in a house with many of my dearest friends, and we’d been up late the night before. But when someone’s alarm went off early, the introvert in me stirred awake. I was longing for a few moments of quiet before the rest of the house got up. It honestly wasn’t a particularly breathtaking sunrise. There were no flashy colors, and I missed the actual moment that the sun peaked over the horizon. But the stillness of the day – or maybe the tenderness of God’s presence in that moment – caught in my throat. Sometimes His goodness is just a little bit more than we can take.

The past few months have brought a smattering of changes. Most of them are very good, but after several years of predictability and steadiness, the unforeseen shifting and stretching has taken a bit of a toll. A little bit of weariness clung to my shoulders. A little bit of fear had found its way into the pit of my stomach. A little bit of hesitation had landed heavy on my feet.

But as I watched the sun’s ascent, my tired eyes filled with grateful tears. Because as clearly as I’ve sensed Him speak recently, I felt Him whisper that this would happen every single day for the rest of my life. Every single morning, regardless of what the night has held, a light will appear on the darkened horizon. There is comfort in the repetition. There is rest in the predictability. And only one thing can disrupt it – the return of the Lord Himself.

At His birth, a star rose in the east and pierced the dark of night. An infant’s cries in the stillness shattered the perceived silence of God. His first breath declared Him God With Us. His last, declared Him Savior. And as breath returned to His lifeless body, His resurrection declared Him Victorious.

As we live in the seeming monotony between His first and second comings, in the confusing gap between death defeated and death destroyed, in the sometimes painful place where fear and doubt still cast shadows, we look east again. When nights prove long and restless, we watch the sun peak over the horizon, and we remember that “the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:5). And we wait. We wait for the morning that it is not the sun that pierces the darkness but the Son of God Himself.

Because He’s coming back! And it will be the most glorious sight:

“Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The One sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems, and He has a name written that no one knows but Himself. He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which He is called is The Word of God.” Revelation 19:11-13

Every sunrise whispers hope. The Word of God declares it. And one day, well, one day hope will only be a memory and so will the sun:

“And the city [of God in the New Heaven and New Earth] has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb. By its light will the nations walk...” Revelation 21:23-24

So I turn my face east, and I celebrate the dawn. But I also long for the day that it is not the sun that rises but the very Glory of God Himself.