“See, the Sun Still Came Up”

I remember the moment very well. It was the morning after Bill Clinton had been elected President of the United States for the first time, and I was so disgusted that my fellow citizens had elected a man whose essence of morality would not fill a thimble (my opinion). I was at the church office before sunrise in order to get some studying done before all the other staff arrived, and in walked one of my deacons. Johnny Ray Smith was one of those deacons who understood that a deacon was a minister to the hurting and, although he was significantly older than I, had become one of my best friends during that period of my life. Knowing my frame of mind, he said, “Clifton, come with me. I have something I want to show you.” He took me outside and pointed to the eastern horizon where the morning sun had just arisen and said quietly, “See, the sun still came up.” 

I must admit that he had just taught me a very important lesson in life: God is sovereign and life will go on. In our world filled with evil, pain, and tragedy, I am comforted by the fact that God is not in heaven ringing His hands trying to decide what to do next. As the prophet Isaiah reminds us: 

It is He who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers; who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them like a tent to dwell in; who brings princes to nothing, and makes the rulers of the earth as emptiness. Scarcely are they planted, scarcely sown, scarcely has their stem taken root in the earth, when He blows on them, and they wither, and the tempest carries them off like stubble. (Isaiah 40:22-24) 

And if the most powerful people in the entire world are under God’s control, what have I to fear? Our Sovereign Lord truly “causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” (Rom. 8:28) This does not make our lives free from pain, sorrow, and uncertainty during our journey through this life, but it does remind us that everything that touches us, touches us with an eternal purpose that will bring glory to God, and eternal good to our lives.

So when anxiety begins to weigh you down, and you are not sure about your future; get up early, look to the east, and remember the words of Johnny Ray Smith, “See, the sun still came up.”



  1. Branson said,

    May 5, 2009 at 3:38 PM

    From a man who is dealing with moving to new a state, getting a new place to live, looking for a new job along with his wife doing the same, and trying to figure out how we’re going to afford it all, this was a much needed reminder. Thank you so much.

  2. Sandra A. said,

    May 6, 2009 at 12:34 PM

    Thanks, Clifton, for the reminder that once again, or still, the nation is in trouble but our gracious Father is still on the throne and He is working His plans.

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