Upon rising this morning, pinks and reds heralding the dawn of a new day were being reflected off the lake behind my house and into my kitchen. Without pausing, I instinctively grabbed my camera simultaneously switching it to the “on” position and made a bee line for the door. Experience has taught me that every second counts when photographing a sunrise or sunset. As the sun emerges or disappears on the horizon, the rays reflected off the clouds are constantly altered by the sun’s position.
The scene is ever changing and beautiful but does not last much longer than the breath its beauty takes from you. It seems as though you have to make a decision to enjoy the mental picture or capture the moment in a photograph. Within about three to four minutes, the scene from above morphed into this rather unremarkable rendering of sunrise.
Quite a God thing that the new day began as such. Just the night before I was reading tips on a photo blog for making dramatic sunrise and sunset pictures. The article by Bruce Wunderlich stated this, “Clouds are a crucial factor to predicting dramatic sunsets, for without clouds there is not much to see. One common misconception of brilliant sunsets is that clouds create the colors; in reality clouds only serve as the canvas to display the colors that light is painting.”
Now let’s think about that. Needless to say, clouds usually get a bad wrap. The songs, poems and written illustrations including clouds often have a negative connotation. The cartoon character Ziggy has that cloud above his head that seems to follow him everywhere. Bless his heart! In truth, we can probably all relate to Ziggy, experiencing times in life when that cloud explodes into a full blown storm directly on top of us.
Bruce Wunderlich was dead on when he said, “In reality clouds only serve as the canvas to display the colors that light is painting.” As Christians, we know God as the Light of the World. What if we changed Mr. Wunderlich’s observation to say this, “In reality clouds (hardships, storms) only serve as the canvas to display the colors (testimony, maturity) that light (God) is painting. If all of our days consisted of blue, cloudless skies, the world would be deprived of the full spectrum of colors that paint our lives when we endure hardships and God shines His light of love, healing and mercy, into our darkness and onto the clouds in our lives.
James 1:2-4 (Message) says this, “Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.” It is my hope that we allow the light of God’s love to shine through the clouds of testing and challenge in our lives so as to reflect the rainbow of His love to those whose paths cross ours. To God Be the Glory!
(A sunset picture that only God could paint. So pleased he allowed me to capture it!)