There have been so many times I’ve sat and admired the sunset as I’m driving home, catching a flight, or relaxing on the beach. How can you not help but stare at the change in the evening sky with a sense of awe and admiration? Sometimes it’s the perfect ending, just one more moment to add to the collection of thoughts and memories that have taken place throughout the day.
Other times it’s the perfect ending, but in another way.
Maybe you’ve had the worst experience you can imagine, maybe your “day” has stretched on to years, maybe you’ve messed up really bad, maybe you feel alone… you’re just ready for the day to end, so you can slip out of consciousness and hope that when you awake you will feel just a little better than you did today.
As Christians, I think we can have hope in the fact that those closest to Jesus felt this way at times. After Jesus was betrayed and condemned to death by the leaders of his own faith, his followers were hiding and afraid of what their fate may be.
“On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders…”
We tend to think of these guys as fearless proclaimers of the Gospel, but that’s not who they were at this point. They were scared. Everything they had known for the last three years had just been destroyed and they weren’t sure what to do next.
It’s easy for Christians to look back on this moment and know that it was only temporary, because Jesus was about to break the power of death and reappear to them. I think they were probably feeling hopeless. I think they were just waiting for the sun to set on what they probably considered to be the worst day of their lives. Maybe Peter worried that the others would find out that he had betrayed Jesus before his death… then he would not only lose his mentor, but also his closest friends.
“…Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you!’”
Regardless of our current situation in life… regardless of whether it is due to our own actions or those of another person. We can find hope in knowing that there is a greater story at work that is much larger than what we are experiencing in the moment. You never know what greatness God may have in store for you tomorrow. Jesus never promised we would be free from the pain, loneliness, and conflict of this life… but he did come to earth and experience it… and he promised us that God’s Spirit will be with us through everything, if we have faith in Him.
Maybe you just enjoyed a beautiful moment of watching the sunset… or maybe, like the disciples, you’re huddled in a room and just waiting for the end of a miserable day…
Regardless, know that there is always hope… God always offers a new day…
So let the sun set on this one.