The Dawning / by maureen maniquis

Walking on the beach as the dawn turns into day is a unique experience every time.  No sunrise is ever the same.  The light pierces the horizon and brushes the sky with shades of color that change by the seconds.  Pinks become orange with strokes of grey adding dimension and depth to the ever changing canvas of the sky and sea.  It is one of the most magnificent gifts of life given new every morning.  It’s as though God is creating a new painting every day that displays how much pleasure, beauty and joy live within Him. 

It reminded me lately how He never ceases to surprise me.  In my ignorance I can often expect God to respond to my prayers in a certain way.  I envision a particular scenario.  I’ve painted a picture with all the expected colors laid out in their proper places.  The people are where they should be; the emotional colors are appropriately mixed and blended into the scene.  I’m fairly confident of how the brush strokes will be displayed.  After all, I’ve seen His work before.  I know His ways.  

And then, the dawning.  As the first ray of light pierces my horizon the colors are brand new.  I’ve never quite seen this shade of pink before.  The reflection, as it hits my cloud, is not where I thought it would be hitting.  The emotional hue is a complete hybrid, unclassified, unexpected.  Where I thought the brush strokes would be bold and powerful they are soft and subtle.  The greys are less dark and ominous yet rich in depth and full of surprising dimension.  The background didn’t need bold colors for its strength as I’d imagined, but rather, the soothing pastels of grace in motion. 

There is so much irony in the life of a believer.  Surprised by joy is often a surprise.  Will I ever realize that I can’t put God in a box?  Do I really think that I have Him figured out?  Dawn on the beach is never just a walk on the beach.  It is more like a holy experience.  It is a reminder that my life is a masterpiece in the works, one stroke at a time artfully executed through the pleasure, beauty and joy of the Master.  He loves to fill in all the details, different brushes, different paint mixes and different mediums.  There is no end to His creative juices.   They overflow and spill into our lives in glorious dimensions.  Everyday is a gift, every experience a purpose. 

And so I kneel on the sand and bow in awe and wonder.  I pray that as the colors change so will my heart.  I pray that I will let my world be painted instead of painting my world.  I pray that I will trust the Masterful Hand that beauty, joy and pleasure are blended into all the colors He uses and they will rise to the surface as the picture emerges. 

He is not finished with me yet…

"My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts," says the Lord.  "And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine."  Isaiah 55:8 NLT