I often cross a long,well traveled bridge during the course of a normal work week. It stretches over a wide span of the St. Johns River, connecting two sides of my hometown with panoramic views of open sky and strong, flowing currents.
On a clear morning, as fading shadows of dawn give way to the bright light of day, early sunshine usually steals the show, rising in spectacular fashion, casting brilliant rays that transform the water into a sea of diamonds.
And I absolutely love it. I love witnessing this extraordinary beauty on an ordinary morning. I love grasping the hope it represents above the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Hope that carries a promise of calm, steady assurance, reminding travelers of an essential truth to moving forward in faith.
Simply put, it’s a reminder that no matter what happens along our journey, the sun will always shine again.
After living in the same city for nearly four decades, I recently thought about how many seasons I’ve watched come and go from this large concrete platform, and the adjacent highway that loops around the place I call home.
Seasons that slowly spin from nature as winds blow and the earth tilts, and seasons that slowly, quietly move through the heart with subtle, unexpected shifts of life.
I’ve experienced them all from this long road. The ones I never wanted to change, and also, the ones I wished to change, but thought they would never end. Because, you see, not every day brings a sea of diamonds on the river, or the sweet lilt of joy in my heart.
Sometimes, I travel in a tangled web of tension, deep breaths of anguished prayer filtering through a rain spattered windshield, all hopes of seeing brilliant sunshine dashed by dark, brooding clouds.
But even on the hard days, here’s what I know. I’m still on the journey.
And if the lines and spaces of well worn asphalt could speak, I imagine this is what they might say:
You’ve been here before, on this long road, overwhelmed, disappointed and confused
I carried you then, and I carry you now, knowing the sun will shine again
Yes, this problem is different, but so was the one before
But I know from experience – Your God will come through and surprise you once more
Cue the tears. Because I’m a crier. When I’m happy, and when I’m sad. But especially when pausing to reflect on God’s faithfulness, and the surprising ways He comes through for His own.
I don’t share this today because I’m full of answers. Quite the contrary. I’m an unsettled soul, full of questions about today, tomorrow, and the unknown future beyond.
But I share these words because maybe you’re on your own stretch of highway where the path is bumpy and uncertain. Where clouds hang low, and the mood is unpredictable. Where detours flash unfamiliar signals, and the tolls require more than you can give.
Not the easiest places to navigate, right?
But if I’ve learned anything from this journey, I’ve learned these are places where we can remember three very important things:
The road is long.
The problems change.
But God remains the same.
And as Psalm 30, verse 5 tells us: Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.
Yes. Beautiful, blessed joy comes in the morning. And sometimes, it brings a sparkling sea of brilliant diamonds shining on the river.