Driving along Highway 840, a little slice of God’s country in the heart of Tennessee, my daughter chatted breathlessly about her ballet class. The sun had just reappeared after a short but powerful storm that had left the highways clean and caused more than a few fender benders on the various interstates.
The hills around us sparkled in the setting sun and, as we rounded a long curve, the sky exploded. “Look at the sky!” I exclaimed, hating that my hands were occupied with the steering wheel and my good camera was at home. I considered pulling over to the shoulder in order to capture the beauty, but the best angle was right here, in the middle of the highway with the “v’ of the hills opening up on each side, perfectly framing the glory before us.
She gasped, a smile lighting up her eyes and me quietly happy that this child of mine has learned to appreciate a good sunset. I’ve taught her well. 🙂
Behind us, the passing storm was still dark. We had driven out of the rain and were now on the back side of it. Tall, billowing clouds, once threatening, were now beautifully illuminated by the setting sun. Orange, pink, and shimmering gold surrounded us and urged us onward, pulling our eyes ahead and our focus away from the passing darkness.
The Message translation gives this new life…
“I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.” Phillippians 3:13
I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ. In the midst of the storm, I was reaching, Maybe even clawing my way forward, blinded by rain, but drawn by His voice.
The storm is passing. More will certainly follow but, for now, there is rest. A chance to catch my breath. And the light from the SON is revealing the beauty on the backside of the storm. The rain washes me clean, washes sin and hurt clean away and I stand in awe of the glory of the Son of God who loves me. He calls me beautiful and surrounds me with beauty. He makes all things beautiful. For me.
Keep your eye on the goal. You will weather the storm and it will pass.
And He stands there, the Son in the setting sun illuminated and surrounded by glory. Look ahead and don’t look back.
Take a deep breath and inhale the clean, fresh air.