I'm pretty convinced that sunsets are how God tells me he loves me. Every time I see that big ball of light start to sink out of sight and the colors start to splash across the sky, I'm reminded of how my God is a glorious Creator who wants to romance me with what He can do.
I was driving to the mall after work the other night, and I just had a feeling it was going to be one of those evenings where the sky was going to look fantastic. I was honestly getting frustrated that the way I was driving didn't let me look at the setting sun, but thankfully I arrived and was able to park before it really started to set. Of course, I got out of my car, whipped out my phone, and started taking pictures of the fiery sky. Natural response, right? I mean, it was beautiful, how could I not!
Most of the sky was a rich, inky blue that was beautiful on its own, but then the clouds around the sun lit up with shocking shades of pink and purple, with streaks of yellow and orange weaving around the cottony clouds. I snapped several pictures, but had to run my errands, so I tore myself away and went inside.
I wasn't really embarrassed at all that people in the parking lot had seen me standing there taking pictures of the sky above the outline of the mall. That sky was gorgeous, and I wanted to soak it all in. The words "the Lord saw what He had made, and it was good" kept echoing in my head. Yeah, Abba, that was good, I thought as I waited in line at the customer service desk.
But then, just a few short minutes later, I came back outside. And that fiery, gorgeous sunset was even better.
All the colors had intensified, the boldness of them all more vivid and shocking then even just a few hundred seconds prior. I know it sounds weird, but I just stood there and laughed. I didn't even try to take another picture of it. I knew my phone couldn't capture all that my eyes were taking in. Not even an Instagram filter could make that sky look as remarkable as it did in that moment.
As I drove home after the colors had all faded and the sky turned dark, I kept thinking that we so often settle for good. We have things that are pretty, that make us happy, that are worth capturing and remembering, and we think that's the end. We snap the pictures and settle and continue onward, not even knowing that right around the corner is something that is more incredible than we realized was possible.
I really thought that sunset was unbelievable. I thought it was incredible. I thought it was good. But I didn't know that right around the corner in just a few short minutes, it would become immeasurably more beautiful. It would become GREAT.
I settled. I snapped a picture because I thought it was done. How often do I do that in my life? Not literally take pictures because I think things are good (even though I do that too), but how often do I just accept what's in front of me instead of praying and believing there will be more?
I've heard people say before that good is the enemy of great. To an extent, I would agree.
When we settle for less than all that our lives or our circumstances or our relationships could be, we are cheating ourselves out of the fullness and richness of what God intends for us.
My challenge to you (and myself) is this: Believe that there is greatness ahead. Believe that there is more than just good. Hold on, be patient, wait. Pray boldly and pray big, believing that God can do more than just good. Because He can, and He will. He will do immeasurably more. And it's going to be great.
How have you seen God do great things in your life when you could have settled for just good? How has God wowed you with more than you could have dreamed of? Leave a comment and share your stories!