October 12, 2021
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Ah, sunset! It must be one of the favorite times of the day for photographers and for couples going on a romantic walk. Actually, for just about all of us. I've had the privilege to see the sun sinking beautifully into the horizon of the Atlantic Ocean, the Pacific Ocean, over many of America's majestic mountain ranges, the flaming desert sunsets, and even from many parts of this world. It just doesn't matter where you are on this planet, sunset is just plain beautiful.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Sunsets Should Be Beautiful."
I've had the great joy of being there when the sun rose on the lives of each of our children, and now on the lives of grandchildren who lead our next generation. Beautiful sunrises! But sooner than any of us can comprehend, life's sun has moved across the sky to the West, and it starts to set.
Sunsets should be beautiful, right? Sadly, for many people who are beginning to see the sun of their life move slowly but surely toward sunset, their sunset isn't very beautiful. In the years when you have so much to give, when every day should count more than ever, too many of us actually become uglier as we get older.
Oh, we've all seen it - the older person who is often complaining, self-pitying, demanding. Honestly, it's not very pretty. The older some of us get, the more we can - if we let ourselves - become people who are bitter, picky, mean-spirited. That's the word that describes some folks as they move toward their sunset. And self-absorption? That's ugly at any age!
Yes, our later years can have their share of physical pain, disappointed dreams (that's true), financial strain, grievous losses, frustrating limitation, and even hurtful neglect. We can't choose our circumstances, but we can, whatever our age, choose our attitude. We can choose what kind of climate we're going to bring with us wherever we go: selfish or unselfish, gentle or harsh, praising or griping, critical or encouraging.
Our word for today from the Word of God in Psalm 71, beginning with verse 17, is an exciting perspective as the sun of your life drifts toward the western sky. It's how later life can be when you focus on the faithful God who has been your anchor through it all. "Since my youth, O God, you have taught me, and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds. Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, O God, till I declare your power to the next generation, and your might to all who are to come."
This is life with a mission - to be a display window for the grace of God, especially to the next generations. And I can focus my life on showing the love and the greatness of God whether I'm healthy or hurting, living by myself or in a senior housing facility, I can be in a neighborhood, a nursing home, even a hospital bed. A man or woman on a mission to show Jesus, however I am, wherever I am.
See, if you belong to Jesus, you discover that He's the one who makes our sunset beautiful. And you have this promise from the one who began your life and who will decide when your work is done. It's from Isaiah 46:3-4. He says, "I have upheld you since you were conceived, and have carried you since your birth. Even to your old age and gray hairs I am He who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you."
You know, as you begin to see the sun starting to set, it's so important to be sure that you're ready for what's beyond for eternity. Jesus came to take down the wall between us and God to pay on the cross for the sin that would make it impossible for us to go to heaven. And then to walk out of His grave so He could walk into our life upon our invitation. Make sure that you belong to Him. You know what? You'll never walk another day alone.
How to do that? Would you visit our website? It will really help with that. It's ANewStory.com.
When you can say no to the darkness of the sunset years, that's when your sunset can be what a sunset ought to be. Remember? Unforgettably beautiful!