Sometimes God opens a window and allows us a brief glimpse at the reality of his existence and perfection. The world God created is a visible revelation of his invisible qualities, and every person is given the opportunity to know he is real. When was the last time God revealed his greatness to you?
Jim and I were driving east on Interstate 20 early Saturday morning. Traffic was light, the sun was just beginning to rise, and the remnants of Friday’s clouds were still in the sky. For a few brief moments, the sky was a magnificent image of God’s greatness. Only God can create a sunrise. Most of the world was still sleeping or still inside the walls of their homes. The perfection of that sunrise was only seen by a few of us who happened to be awake and facing the right direction. And, the spectacular view of the sun reflecting off those clouds lasted for only a few brief moments.
The traffic slowed down, no one changed lanes, and no one rushed to pass the cars ahead. Nothing else seemed to matter to those of us privileged enough to glimpse the incredible beauty in front of us. God’s greatness was revealed, but only for a few, amazing moments. The sun rose, the highway filled with people on a schedule, and the glory of the sunrise became the ordinary light of another day.
The news is required to report the chaos, but I want to report that the chaos doesn’t reflect the power of God. The truth about God is best seen in the sunrise. “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:22–23). The news speaks of shootings, crimes, animosity, and other dark realities. It’s easy to think that people are controlling God’s creation. It’s easy to miss the sunrise if all we see is the ordinary light of another day.
Paul wrote the book of Romans to Christians living in one of the most perverse cultures our world has ever known. Paul doesn’t ignore the chaos of the Roman culture; he describes it in chapter one. Our culture is growing more similar to Rome’s with each passing year. Paul’s words to Rome could be written to America today. Paul reminded the Roman Christians that every human being will be held accountable to God because every human being has been given the chance to know God. Paul wrote:
The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. (Romans 1:18–20)
Every sunrise, sunset, storm, and warm breeze is a reminder that God has clearly revealed himself to every human being. Creation is a visible picture of a God we cannot see but who wanted us to know him. The sunrise we experienced Saturday morning clearly displayed the invisible qualities of God—his eternal power and divine nature.
That beautiful morning, people stayed in their lanes, slowed down, and, for a brief moment, all of us glimpsed the power and divinity of our Creator. A sunrise is impossible for anyone but God. The news reveals the weak and fallen nature that has always darkened God’s world. But the news is a limited version of the truth. Where should Christians look for the whole truth? Paul would give us the same encouragement he gave the Romans when he said, “For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: ‘The righteous will live by faith'” (Romans 1:17).
God is visible in his word, but also in his world. God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—are displayed every morning when the sun rises for that day. God’s love and mercy are his daily gift and can be yours today, through faith. God’s word makes that promise. So does the sunrise.