I’m obsessed with sunrises.
Not just with a bypassing appreciation, but with an eagerness that treats a sunrise like an event, whether that means driving an hour to get the best view or rolling out of bed before the rooster has even cracked an eyelid.
People argue that sunsets are better because you’re already awake to witness the beauty. While that is more convenient, it’s also one of the reasons sunrises are so special.
There’s something about being awake when it feels like the rest of the world isn’t.
It’s about the anticipation.
It’s about knowing that a new day is coming. Hope is coming. It’s a time to see God’s faithfulness in action as His mercies never end, but begin new every morning.
Listen to the words of Lamentations 3:22–23. They seem etched into every sunrise I’ve ever witnessed.
The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
Sunsets are a time to be with Jesus. To dwell with Him before the rest of the world has had a chance to shout their opinions . . .
Before the to-do list kicks in . . .
Before you have responsibilities to fulfill.
Sure, I snooze the alarm just as much as the next person. But when I’m tempted to roll over and drown out the blaring beeping, I remember that if I don’t wake up in time, I’ll miss it.
“I Made This Just for You”
One fall, my friends and I planned a sunrise hike in the forests of Arkansas. When our alarms went off at 4 a.m., we struggled to gain coherency before deciding to just skip it. I rolled over to go back to sleep, yet I had a nagging sense that we were about to miss something important. As it turns out, my friends did too. “Should we just go?” I heard my roommate whisper, and I jumped at the chance. After racing through the forest with nothing but flashlights, we reached a clearing on the edge of a cliff and joined the other sunrise-watchers in silence. Nobody dared speak louder than a hushed whisper. And so we sat, as light filled the sky and the trees in the valley began to glow.
We could have missed this. Sitting next to your best pals in the stillness of the dawn’s light, your awareness kicks in that you get to be alive in this moment. The shimmer was all around us, as if God was saying, “I made this just for you.”
There’s a beauty in stumbling to the coffee pot before finding your place to watch and wait. Whether it’s sitting with your arms wrapped around your knees on the edge of a cliff, rocking on the front porch, sinking your toes in the sand, staring as the waves meet the horizon, or curling up in a blanket facing the window, it’s about so much more than seeing a pretty view.
Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love, for in you I trust. Make me know the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul. (Psalm 143:8)
In this psalm, David specifically mentioned morning. A sacredness comes with morning as you start your day with the Lord and let Him remind you of His love. It sets the tone for the rest of the day.
The morning brings glory to God as we quiet our hearts and turn our gaze to Him. When that first glimpse of light pops over the horizon, you suck in your breath in wonder as the sunrise reflects the beauty of the Creator.
And the best part? It happens every day. And it’s different every day.
There are dreary cloudy and rainy days when I think, I got up for this? But soon, a quiet contentment settles over my heart. There’s a peculiar beauty in the gray. An anticipation and breath of peace in the raw stillness of the morning. A time to dwell with God and witness the moment.
My love for sunrises began at four years old, when I experienced my first sunrise service on Easter. Sunrise services with my church became a tradition. Everyone huddled together on hay bales, singing praises just before dawn. Then, when the sun’s rays extended into the sky, someone would shout, “He is risen!”
“He is risen, indeed!” we joyously concluded.
There is an exhilarating weight that comes with an Easter sunrise, like witnessing pure awe, celebrating the miracle that Jesus conquered death. He conquered it for you and me. Maybe that’s why sunrises are so beautiful to me. They go beyond Easter and remind me of the miracle of grace every single day.
No matter the pain that came the day before, no matter the struggles that are going to come in the day ahead, the sunrise is a reminder to me that God is good.
We can’t afford to lose sight of that truth. That’s why I chase sunrises.
What’s your sunrise? I’d love to hear what gives you hope and reminds you of God’s everlasting goodness. And if you’ve never made it to a sunrise, set your alarm and vow to catch the sunrise tomorrow. I promise, you don’t want to miss it.