Stopping to See

| 25 November 2019

“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever.” Psalms 136:1 (NLT)

I love beautiful sunsets. I never get tired of them, or of taking pictures of them. Some days, when the colors are particularly spectacular, a sunset can stop me in my tracks. Everything that is going on around me just seems to fade while I pause to see and soak for a bit in the glory of God’s creative power on display. I am always struck with awe and have to say, “Wow, thank you, God! You are SO good!” And then I usually take a few more pictures. I can’t help it.

Several months ago, I headed out to enjoy the peacefulness of our covered porch with a few good books and some tea. Before long I was engrossed in my reading and lost track of time. Suddenly I realized it was getting too dark to read, and I looked up and saw it! The sun was just about to set, and I knew from what remained in the sky, it must have been a good one. Later that evening my Instagram feed was filled with pictures of the most amazing sunset. It was so beautiful; everyone was talking about it!

That night, my eyes were focused on other things and I didn’t see the beauty of God’s work right in front of me. While I know there will be other sunsets, it was a reminder to me of my need to see and acknowledge God’s lovingkindness. He pours it out and puts it on spectacular display day after day. I am not always quick to see his displays of lovingkindness, but every brilliant sunset is a reminder to pay closer attention — to see and to say, “thank you.”

In Psalm 136 the writer tells of seeing God’s lovingkindness, or his “faithful love” (Hebrew: hesed) on display in his creation, in rescuing the Israelites from slavery, and then leading them through the desert for 40 years, in his protection from their enemies and in remembering them in their weakness. The psalmist sees and acknowledges each of these things and can only stop and say, “Wow, thank you, God! You are so good.

Pray with me this week to have eyes to see the many evidences of God’s lovingkindness on display in our lives. Pray that our awareness will stop us in our tracks so that we will take the time to see and name each of the ways that we have seen his “faithful love.”

Nicole Jiles
Director of Children’s Ministries