As the Sun Sets

All of us have a favorite time of the day; I have two. For me, sunrises and sunsets hold a special fascination. Displaying the beauty and majesty of God’s created world, these moments always bring Psalm 19:1-4 to mind.

“The heavens declare the glory of God;
And the firmament shows His handiwork.
Day unto day utters speech,
And night unto night reveals knowledge.
There is no speech nor language
Where their voice is not heard.
Their line has gone out through all the earth,
And their words to the end of the world.

In them He has set a tabernacle for the sun,”
(Psalm 19:1-4, NKJV)

Sunrise, which often greets me as I lift my head from my “God time”, gives me pause for two thoughts. One is a reminder to thank God for another day in His service. The second is a prompt to look forward to the promise of the coming day. That last one is really a mindset. We each must make a choice about how we start our day. I can either greet the day with promise by saying, “Good morning God” or with dread by saying, “Good God, morning.”

I try to make time to bring my day to a close at sunset. Oh, I’ll still have chores to do in the house or some writing to finish up, but I use sunset as the period at the end of my day’s sentence. Making time to walk outside and observe the last vestiges of light serves a dual purpose. First, I stand silently before God and review my day. Often, I seek His forgiveness for something I thought, said, or did, or sometimes failed to do that day. It is during these silent few moments I thank Him for being with me through the day.

The second is to remember the words of Psalm 4:8 as I offer a prayer for my family and all who dwell here at the Cross-Dubya. “I will both lie down in peace, and sleep; For You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.” (Psalm 4:8) As darkness falls, I listen as the mama cows call their calves to rest within the secure confines of the herd. With a pat on the head, Bubba the chocolate lab walks into the garage and settles onto his rug by the back door. With one last look westward, I softly utter, “Into Your hands Lord. If it be Your will, we’ll all awake to greet the new day.”

How we start and end our days greatly affects how we spend them. #Praise #Gratitude Click To Tweet

What I’ve learned as the years have gone by is that my attitude is my choice. I can allow others to impact it and turn it into a “bad day” or allow the Holy Spirit control of my thoughts and emotions. Only I can determine who and what my life reflects. That is part of the free will that God created us with. I can either reflect this world through sorrow, dissatisfaction, and lament, or I can choose to reflect God’s presence in my life. We each must make that choice.

As the sun sets on my life, I pray I can look back across the decades and see days where I reflected God more than the world. I pray you can do the same. Here’s to enjoying more sunsets and finding great rest in God’s protection this week my friends.

God’s blessings,

 

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58 thoughts on “As the Sun Sets

  1. “What I’ve learned as the years have gone by is that my attitude is my choice.” So very true, J.D. May I choose to have the right attitude each day so that each day is well spent. Blessings!

    1. Absolutely Ms. Diana. When I find myself becoming too “worldly”, I react much more severely to those external factors/irritants that find their way into everyone’s lives. My sunrise and sunset moments, and as often as I can in between those times, give me a pause to focus on God and His majesty and glory. They “balance” my soul if that makes sense.

  2. J. D. , God knew I’d need your post today. The heaviness of horrendous news in our country weighs on my heart, but God gives us rest and bears our burdens as we trust and serve Him. My favorite time of day is just after sunset when the earth is quiet and peaceful. God’s truths and your words reminded me my heart can be quiet and peaceful because Jesus reigns. Thank you.

    1. Sometimes, it seems no matter how hard we try, we can’t avoid all of the chaos, anger, hatred, and vitriol that is spreading throughout the world today my friend. We need to moments where we can shut out this world and seek renewal of our mind and restoration of peace in our hearts to make through this journey called human life. It gets difficult to apply end-game thinking (keeping our soul on the goal of that upward call), but those moments of solitude and peaceful communion with God sure help. God’s blessings Ms. Jeannie. Praying for your peace my friend.

  3. Like you, my friend, sunrise and sunset are my favorite times of day. In the morning, I am refreshed and I breathe in the blessings of a new day. Most days I haven’t had time to mess up too many things by the time the sun rises. I’m grateful for the new beginnings each new day grants. By sunset, I’m usually on the way to exhaustion, although the day’s work may be far from done, but I’m grateful for the guidance and grace He has given me throughout the day. Your post blessed me today, kind sir, thank you.

    1. Had to laugh Ms. Katherine, as I had that same thought about my mornings as you had when I was writing this piece. I’m so very glad you found a blessing in my post, and I pray you found some time at the end of your days this week, to sit or lean against a tree and spend a few peaceful moments in God’s presence. Oh, how that does wonders for a farmer’s soul.

  4. Unfortunately, our windows are situated in a way that I often don’t see sunrises and sunsets. But sometimes I’ll see a flash of pink or orange or purple and be drawn out to marvel at God’s artistry. I like how you start and end your day. I try to give God the day and ask for His guidance first thing after I wake up, and then to thank Him for the day when I do to bed. I need to do better about not letting little irritations to get to me though the day, though.

    1. I think we all need to try and do better at times Ms. Barbara. I can only speak for myself here, but I tend to let all those little things build up in my soul and then I EXPLODE in a fit of rage when that last straw gets added. I’ll warn folks sometimes, “you’re gettin’ on my last nerve”, but truth is, I should be asking God to help me better control those nerves. God’s blessings sweet friend.

  5. Oh my friend I pray I can too! It is so important how we begin and end the day and being intentional about it. I love how you use sunrise and sunset to be God-conscious. I have gotten into the habit over the years of greeting Father, Jesus and Holy Spirit before I think or say anything else – I say good morning to each of them and in the evening as I lay my head on my pillow I big them good night.

    1. I love those thoughts Ms. Ann. Our “walk” with God and our intentional efforts to seek Him at times throughout our day is, I hope, a sign of maturity. We come to realize that we need Him in our lives all the time, and not just on Sunday mornings or when it’s convenient for us.

  6. We can’t change our circumstances, but we can most certainly control our reactions to them. May I give myself and my will over to God with every new day, and surrender my evening rest to Him.
    Blessings, J. D.!

  7. BEAUTIFUL. I loved all the imagery in your post. But what really caught me attention was “ Good morning God” or with dread by saying, “Good God, morning.” Changing the order of the words made a huge difference just like when we change the order of our attitude. I will remember this lesson for the days to come. Thanks JD

  8. I love to begin the day by saying, “Thank You Lord for this glorious day.” I love to end the day by saying, “Thank You Lord for all Your blessings.” I love how you thank God for another day in His service. What a beautiful way to remember His love. 🙂

    1. Thank you Ms. Barbara. Isn’t it wonderful to know that God is in them no matter where we are? I often find myself saying, “Good night Ms. Barb, praying you a peaceful rest” when I’m heading out to feed the livestock each morning. Just a few more months my friends, and all y’all will be back home.

  9. We have a saying in my family: “Attitude is everything. Choose a good one.” How very powerful that is! Oh to consider what the Lord must feel when we allow ourselves to become flustered over insignificant issues when he holds the universe in his capable hands. Sunsets and sundowns are remarkable reminders of his sovereignty. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, JD!

    1. “Selah”, a moment of pause or a break for reflection upon the goodness of God. I love that word Ms. Candyce. It took me many years to fully understand the weight of that word. We do indeed need those Selah moments in our lives, don’t we?

  10. What a beautiful habit, J.D.! It’s one we can all learn from. I like the idea of spending a moment with God at sunset instead of waiting until bedtime when weariness can supersede my good intention. Your message also reminds me of Joshua 24:15 — “choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve.”

    1. Thank you Ms. Annie. I still try and use bedtime as the time when I end my prayers, and when I’m fortunate, I’m able to get “Amen” in sleep arrives. I think sometimes though, God caresses my heart and says it for me as He gently smiles and removes me from His lap. Oh, how your words bless and transport me into peace-filled bliss my friend. Thank you!

  11. I love the glimpses you share of your life on the ranch and your sweet soul. I learn so much from your wisdom. “We each must make a choice about how we start our day.” So very true, sir, and my prayer is that I make the “Good morning, God” choice more than the “Good God, morning.” 🙂

  12. J.D., this is beautiful and you’ve inspired me to slow down and pause–to linger and allow the sunset put a period at the end of my day. What a lovely way to honor God and enjoy His creation.

    Thank you for blessing me yet again.

    Peace and grace,
    Tammy

  13. We do enjoy the most gorgeous sunrises and sunsets here in North Texas, JD! I’ve also been amazed at the most beautiful cloud formations over the last two years. Every day as I admire them, I ask, “Will You come in the clouds today, Lord?” And the Harvest Moon is arriving soon too!

    1. We do indeed Ms. Karen. I’ve seen both all around the world ma’am, and the ones at home always stir me the most. Perhaps that’s because while God is in each of them, there’s a special connection to Him where we spend our most time praising and glorifying Him. I love your mindset. I too will often look eastward and ask, “Is today the day Lord?” I’m ready my friend. Until that time, praying you lots more sunrises and sunsets.

  14. Beautiful thoughts, J.D. I have loved the skyline, sunsets since I was a little girl. My mom has always told me how I would say, “Look Mama, what a boot-i-ful sky.” Just the glory of sunrises, and especially sunsets of orange and pink have always mesmorized me. It definitely shows off God’s handiwork.

    1. It sure does Ms. Karen. I’m always amazed when I stop long enough to just look around at all that God created in the natural world and how much it testifies to Him. Thank you for your kind words ma’am.

  15. Thank you, J.D., for another reminder of the power that our attitude has to extend itself beyond the moment. I should have done a better. job of that on the day you published this. There were some distracting family issues going on that totally trashed my normal routine and I didn’t even see this until this morning. I’ve learned that for some reason, your posts get redirected and my notifications don’t alert me, so I have to go looking for them. Your admonition really hit me in a beneficial way this morning, and I’m grateful. I’ve begun the last few days wrestling with burdensome issues, I’d have been much better off having greeted the sunrise with praise for the One who carry us through whatever the day brings forth. So, please accept my apology for being late responding and my gratitude for the uplifting your words have had on my morning today.

    1. No worries Mr. Ron, and I’ve been praying about those issues my friend (or at least those I’m aware of). Please know that prioritization is more important to me than ever before, and #1 and #2 should be pretty static (unchanging). Number One must always be God my friend, and number two should be our family. My blog should be prioritized in there somewhere around 4,204 on your list, or maybe 4,203. Praying resolution that aligns with God’s will my friend.

  16. Thanks for another thought-provoking post.
    I too love sunrises and sunsets. And I just love to look at the sky, being drawn in to thoughts of how big and amazing God is, and how incredible it is that He loves us so much.
    Indeed, “How we start and end our days greatly affects how we spend them.”
    God bless you, dear Friend.

  17. I’m not a regular viewer of sunrise. But when I do, I always stand amazed. Whether I view sunrises over the ocean, behind the mountains, or just over the tree tops of our little plot of land–they’re all beautiful.
    Even though God is with me 24/7, I still say “Good morning, Lord,” when I see a sunrise. It’s just a way of saying, “I see You doing a new thing today. Thank You, Lord.”

  18. Thinking of sunsets, I recall marveling at two in particular: one off the big island of Hawaii and the other behind a cloud-free Mt. McKinley (now Denali) in Alaska. Both were incredible and both blessed me to have witnessed them. God’s daily touch of beauty shows His miraculous wonders making my petty issues insignificant and my Redeemer oh so huge. I am continuously reminded of the gift of being His child and no one, not anyone, can ever take that away. Hallelujah!

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