It had not yet peeked out over the horizon, but the sun declared it’s coming, through the brilliant hues of orange and pink being painted across the sky. It was one of the most beautiful sunrises our eyes had ever beheld. It felt as though we had literally walked into a painting.
Waves crashed. Birds chirped. Fish jumped. The scene was spectacular! And wouldn’t you know, before the sun rose over the horizon… my phone camera died? How was this possible? My iPhone takes great pictures, and I had charged it all night, or so I thought.
Carole, my bestie, was with me, and her love for photography is similar to mine. We both have a creative eye. Before my phone quit, I had a chance to capture half a dozen, or so, pictures. I knew she would get some great shots, but it wasn’t the same as being able to take my own.
Frustrated and speechless, I was watching the prettiest sunrise in history with no camera. This began to mess with my mind. For a few minutes, I entertained the thought that perhaps God cared for Carole more intimately than He did me. Or maybe He favored her over me. I felt a little jealous.
As I went to find a quiet place on the beach to sit and watch the sunrise, I heard God say, “Have you considered that I might want to spend time with you, without the distraction of your phone? Besides if you love Carole, be happy for her that she gets to enjoy this time with Me taking pictures. I give you breathtaking sunrises every morning of your life, right out your back door. She can’t see my sunrises from her bedroom window like you can!”
Humbled, to say the least, I said, “Yes Lord. I do love her! You know I do. I am happy for her, and I’m really sorry for having those thoughts. Forgive me. I know it’s ridiculous for me to think that You would love her any more than you love me. I know that’s not true.”
It’s so easy to fall into the comparison trap, isn’t it?
After Holy Spirit shifted my thoughts, I began to take it all in. The sun was rising. God had my undivided attention, and I began singing “How Great Thou Art,” an old hymn from my childhood. It was as if all creation was singing in that moment with me. A huge group of pelicans passed right over my head in the pink sky.
Awestruck, I thanked God and praised Him for who He is.
He said “Rivera, do you see the sand in the palm of your hand? You can’t count it, can you? Look at the sand on the beach. Imagine counting every grain of sand it took to fill this beach. Now, I want you to think of counting every grain of sand in the ocean floor and all its borders. You can’t do it. Not even close! My love for you exceeds all of the grains of sand in the entire world. Rivera, the fact is, you can’t wrap your mind around just how much I love you. I love all of my children that much–more than your human, finite minds can comprehend–and you are ALL my favorites!”
Lost in a divine encounter with God, I was completely enamored by how He loves us so intimately and individually, yet equally! Meanwhile, I was oblivious that Carole was behind me getting a beautiful shot of me sitting in that sunrise, talking to God. No picture I could’ve taken would have been worth missing that one! Oh how He loves!
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” ~James 1:17
Photo Credit: Carole Loebs