The other day, the Oregon sunset was a stunner. If you missed it, don't worry, I have pictures.
I love nature. I don't particularly want bugs (or most animals) to touch me, and I have a semi-irrational fear of most flying beasties. But, that doesn't mean I don't see the beauty in them. Bees and bee like things, for example, are what I would (slightly melodramatically) call my nemesis. But I can appreciate them for their pollinating ways, their intense work ethic, and unwavering devotion to their royalty.
I had a friend jokingly tell me that I am maybe a little over appreciative of nature, but as far as I'm concerned, there's no such thing. (I know someone is going to say something, so I'll add a disclaimer. Yes, worshiping nature is taking zeal for the earth too far. But that's not the page myself, or my friend, were on).
The beauty of this earth is meant to be enjoyed.
I watched it as I walked to my car, trying to examine every fluff of cloud in sight and analyzing the way the lingering light hit each one, and the resulting colors being played upon them. I stared breathlessly at the vastness as I drove down a nearly empty road, the white lines reflecting the sky and glowing pink. I shifted my attention off the clouds to the setting sun itself, bursting orange and pink. It glowed softly now, it's work almost done for the day. Where the light was still the brightest, the color was intense, making it look kind of shiny. It looked like orange lava in the sky, molten and dangerous and stunning.
Smiling, I congratulated God on his creation, and told him what an awesome show he was putting on for us tonight. "Man, Lord" I said, "that really is gorgeous. I know you don't need my affirmation, but gosh. That is some good work."
It was right then, in that moment, I felt him whisper, "just wait until you see it later. Wait until I show you the sun all over the world."
That's when I started crying.
But then I realized where I was (exactly the spot my dear friend and I had been stranded on the side of the road, in a summer storm, just a month ago) and started laughing.
After I somewhat regained my composure, I asked him, "How can you do that to me? How can you just drop a promise into my heart like it's nothing?" And boom. That's when it hit me. To God, it IS nothing. Not that it means nothing, giving your children gifts always means something. But that it IS nothing, because he can do anything.
In that moment I was so blown away. I could almost picture God smiling at me, like a person smiles as they watch someone unwrap what they know to be the perfect gift.
It is sometimes so hard to believe that my perfect Lord loves imperfect me. That my blunt and bumbling ways don't deter him or his will. But the reality is that we are all SO deeply loved by a God who delights in giving us the things our hearts need.
And that's just pretty dang sweet.