I remember this particular morning. I had awoken early, well before dawn, with the hope of capturing some great images at the local wetlands. A ritual that I look forward to most of the week. Getting away from my daily grind like this usually lets me wash away the "grit" that I accumulate over the span of previous week. However, this morning was not what I expected.
It started out very cloudy, a heavy rain had happened the night before and the outlook for this morning called for more of the same. As I drove to my destination I thought to myself that I should have stayed in bed believing that I would not capture anything on this dreary morning. Yet I pushed on as small droplets of rain splashed on my windshield confirming at least for the moment that my warm cozy bed offered more relief than some wet sticky patch of dirt I was about to step into.
When I finally arrived at the shoot location the earlier rains had subsided. I unpacked my gear and headed into the Wetlands to look for a suitable spot to set up. It was a subtle quiet as I approached the water's edge where I wanted to capture the Sunrise but instead of seeing clear skies on the horizon I saw nothing but low hanging clouds. Undaunted, I pressed on although I have to confess that I did hold some thoughts of heading to a different locale, one that I thought might be better and one that had clearer skies. What happened next can only be described as "completely taking me by surprise".
The clouds started to display a hint of color usually associated with that time of day; gray gave way to red then orange which manifested the sky into a soft pastel yellow as the Sun made its journey over the horizon. Clouds that once hung low seemed to unfold allowing the full glory of the Sun to break through and display its brilliance. All of Creation woke with a shout as the Sun passed through the clear opening, paused and continued back into the expanse once again being swallowed up by the approaching storm. But for a few minutes, within a click of time, the amazing images I was allowed to capture were truly wonderful. It was as if God said, "...wait...wait a sec, let Me show you this".
Reflecting on that morning I realize that sometimes we miss the best opportunity or ignore simple truths because we think that something better might get us to another presumed destination that we want more. We take the absolute truth and exchange it for a lie and more often than not pay a higher penalty for that decision. Had I chosen to move on to a different location I would have missed one of the most spectacular Sunrise's I ever saw. There have been other times in my life that I thought I needed to do something else to reach a desired outcome only realizing that in the end if I just listened for God who was saying "Wait, Wait", His Words would lead me in the right direction.
In his letter to the Ephesians, Chapter 2, the Apostle Paul writes, as inspired by the Holy Spirit that, "you were dead in your trespasses and sins, 2 in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. 3 Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them." I realized that there was nothing I could do to earn salvation, I couldn't pray harder, give bigger offerings, work harder or do any kind of man made work that would win me the golden ticket. It had all been done on the Cross of Christ and nothing else was required. God says it right here in the Ephesians that it is a FREE GIFT and that not of yourselves. I simply needed to Believe that His righteousness alone made the way possible for me to spend eternity with Him. WOW! When I realized that simple truth all I could do was weep and thank Him for His Grace.
Perhaps you have been trying to earn your way to Heaven but seem never to come any closer. Simply put...you can't! How can sinful man even begin to think that he has any righteousness at all to stand before a Holy God. God's provision for our sin and the only way to Heaven is through Jesus Christ. Apart from Him there is no other way. Believe on Him and you shall be saved. Sometimes, the simplest truth is the one that most often is ignored or passed over; like the temptation to leave my photo shoot in favor for another place. I am glad I did not give in to my wayward idea, else I would have missed Gods Gift to me.