3 Things the Sunrise Teaches Us About God

Theology in Everyday Life

When we go to the beach, my daughter and I always wake up early one morning and go down to the shore to watch the sunrise. We’ve done it for as long as I can remember. (Side note: It doesn’t work for the Gulf Coast. Wrong direction.) It’s a special mother-daughter moment that prompts slow but significant conversations.

Consider these 3 things the sunrise teaches us about God.

Propelled By Unseen Movement

As we sit on our towels, digging our feet into the cool sand, we’re not actually waiting on the sun to rise. We’re waiting on the earth to rotate: not a process we can feel happening, not a process that can be rushed, and not a process that waits on us if we’re running late.

The way God works in the world is much the same. We can’t see or feel much of what God is doing, and if we don’t trust Him, it’s easy to think He is inactive. But He is certainly at work, and if we’re looking in the right direction at the right time, we will see glory, just like we see the sun rise.

I wait for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, 
more than watchmen wait for the morning.  -Psalm 130:6

Expectant waiting is a key element of following Jesus. (Here’s a whole post about expectant waiting.) While we wait, God is moving heaven and earth to produce His Glory. He will let us know when we have an active part.

As I write this, it’s early December and we’ve just entered Advent. Waiting comes up in every spiritual conversation, and I’m learning just how well sunrise compares to Christmas. Zechariah (John the Baptist’s father) prophesied,

“…The rising sun will come to us from heaven
to shine on those living in darkness
and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the path of peace.”  -Luke 1:78-79

Absolutely Consistent

Our wait for the sunrise is always expectant, catching that first sliver above the horizon when the sky is clear or noticing a glow behind the clouds when the sky is overcast. The sky may look different every day, but the sunrise is certain to happen every single day, always. Even in the middle of winter, when dark clouds and snow obscure it, the sun rises.

Let us acknowledge the Lord; let us press on to acknowledge him.
As surely as the sun rises, he will appear.  -Hosea 6:3

No one questions whether or not the sun will rise tomorrow morning. In the same way, we need not doubt God’s presence and work in our lives.

Blocked By Other Lights

If my daughter and I leave our hotel room too early, we have to use a flashlight on the way down to the beach. When we find our spot and spread our towels, however, we turn off the flashlight. You see, the flashlight is very bright and very close to us. So even though it is miniscule in comparison to the sun, its brightness will cause us to miss those first moments of sunrise.

In the same way, when we try to produce our own light, that is, try to live out the Christ-life in our own strength, we miss the sweet, small beginnings of what God is doing around us.

“I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.”John 12:46
The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; On those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.  -Isaiah 9:2

Sometimes we need to sit in the dark for a minute before we can see God’s light rising around us.

Wondering how to talk to your kids about God? Use this guide to start the conversation. Theology in everyday life: 3 things we can learn about God from the sunrise. #IntentionalParenting

Do you have a special parent-child tradition or habit? Care to tell us about it in the comments? And if you have infused it with the Truths of God, share that too! There’s much we can learn from each other.

Related: