The sun rose this morning in Guatemala.
It wasn’t a spectacular sunrise.
Pretty, but not gorgeous.
That is mostly because we are in the middle of burning season.
During these last few weeks as dry season ends, farmers burn off the residual layers of their crops to prepare for planting and the rainy season.
So, while much of the rest of the world is seeing better air quality from lack of human activity, our air is hazy and thick most of the time.
Which means that this morning I saw some pretty colors.
The sky lightened for sure.
But it was a quiet sunrise.
And for the better part of it, I could not see the sun at all.
I saw the effects – but the sun itself was hidden in the haze.
But it struck me again as I watched.
Even when I cannot see the sun, it is there.
I know that if I were able to be in a plane at this moment, I would see something completely different.
We would be above the haze, above the burning.
I would most definitely be able to see the sun.
I would not be able to look at it directly, of course, because the radiance would far outshine what my eyes can handle.
But it would be a completely different perspective, above the burning.
Because, whether I see it or not, the sun is there.
Hazy, cloudy, rainy – it is there.
Clear, crisp, clean – it is there.
The sun is always there.
And it rises every morning.
The Son rose that morning.
The actual event was quiet.
One moment, He was dead.
The next, He was alive.
But the effect of that Sonrise?
Oh my goodness!
Death was defeated.
Satan’s head was crushed.
Victory was won.
The grave had no grip on Him, so it has no grip on me.
Which means fear is defeated as well.
Sin is paid for.
Fellowship, relationship, friendship with God is restored.
The path is open for me to come directly to God.
No priest needed.
No sacrifice needed.
No veil between the two of us.
It changes everything!
Even when the world is in burning season like it is now.
Especially when we are in burning season like we are now.
All the things that we have depended on – our own resources, our abilities to protect ourselves, our entertainment, even our livelihoods, are stripped away.
We have been laid bare.
Down to the soil of who we are.
Without the trappings.
Without the idols.
Without our self-sufficiency.
Even when the haze of pain and suffering hangs heavy in the air.
Even when it feels hopeless.
And we feel helpless.
Even then, the Son is risen!
And when I allow my spirit to rise above the haze, above the clouds, above the burning, I can see Him.
I can see that He is still seated on His throne at the right hand of God the Father.
I can see that He is still the Glue that holds all things together.
I can see that He is still the Lamb Who Was Slain and the Good Shepherd who laid down his life for this sheep.
I can see that He is indeed Worthy.
Worthy of every praise
Worthy of all of my life
Worthy of my trust even when I do not understand
Worthy of my worship
Worthy of being the only God I bow before
Worthy of every song I could ever sing
Worthy of every gift I have
Worthy of ALL my time, attention and effort
He. Is. Worthy.
I can barely look at Him in all His glory.
My human eyes and finite mind cannot fully comprehend what I am seeing.
Who I am seeing.
But my whole perspective shifts when I rise above the haze.
When I look to the Sonrise.
When I intentionally set my eyes on the Son.
I am transformed.
Strengthened for the long days ahead.
Secure in the knowledge that the Son IS there.
Even when I cannot see Him.
Even when He is hidden in the haze, the smoke, the pollution of suffering.
He is there.
And then I am reminded of the purpose of this season.
The reason the farmers are burning the fields.
The reason the air is thick with smoke.
It is so the seed can be sown.
The crops planted.
And the harvest eventually gathered in.
The burning away of the old makes room for the new.
The fire of suffering does the same thing in my soul.
It forces me down to the bare essentials.
The reality of who I am and Who God is.
The acknowledgement that I am not in control.
Not able to heal.
Not able to save myself.
But it leaves behind fresh ground, ready for new.
In His bride, the Church.
So that the world may know the He is real.
And He is risen.
Just as He said.
The Son rose today.
That reality changes everything.
Hallelujah! What a Savior!