Ever since I was a little girl, I have had a burning desire to tell others about the love of Jesus Christ. As an adult, I yearn for God to swing wide the doors of opportunity for me to minister even more to people around the world. What about you? Do you long for something more? Is there a tugging at your heart to accomplish something bigger than yourself? Beyond our occupation, our family, our friends, we are all here for a greater purpose. God has placed us on this earth to fulfill a divine calling in our lives. We are here to tell others about Jesus Christ and his love. Just as we look beyond a picturesque sunset and anticipate the dawning of a brand new day, we must look beyond our current circumstances and fix our eyes on Jesus Christ.
Recently, I read the story of how the song, “Beyond the Sunset,” was written. Virgil Prentiss Brock penned the words one evening in 1936 after a conversation at the dinner table. The topic of conversation was an unusually gorgeous sunset at Winona Lake in Indiana, despite the storm clouds looming overhead. Virgil’s blind cousin, Horace Burr, commented that it was the most beautiful sunset he had ever seen.
Virgil said to his cousin, “People are always amazed when you talk about seeing.” Horace replied, “I can see. I see through other people’s eyes, and think I often see more; I see beyond the sunset.” Virgil said the phrase “beyond the sunset” and the striking inflection of his cousin’s voice struck him profoundly. He immediately began singing the first few lines of the song. Before they had even finished their meal, the entire song was written.
I must say that this story left me speechless. This gentleman who could not see ultimately had greater vision than those with perfect eyesight. He did not focus on the impending thunderstorm. Instead, he focused on the true beauty. He saw more than a lake, a sunset, and storm clouds. His sight was not limited by the horizon. He could look beyond the physical limitations of this world in order to catch a glimpse of something that was seemingly Heavenly. He knew that even in the sunset, there was sunshine awaiting him.
I invite you to listen to my song, "There's Sunshine Awaiting You."
I invite you to listen to my song, "There's Sunshine Awaiting You."
How many times in life do we look at our current situation and begin to succumb to a state of hopelessness and despair? Perhaps you see your children hanging out with the wrong crowd. Instead of asking God for help, your mind first goes into a tailspin of all of the possible outcomes. Will they try drugs, participate in underage drinking, have sex before marriage, or even get arrested? Once the myriad of possibilities stop running through your mind, that’s when you finally stop to pray about it. Since when did prayer become the last possible course of action? Prayer should be our first line of defense, not our last resort.
We should not dwell on the problems of this earth. Instead, we need to pray and have faith that God is working all things together for our good (see Romans 8:28). Jesus Christ is the answer to every problem in life. Hebrews 12:2 says we should fix our eyes on Jesus. It does not say to look around the world to see if there is a better alternative. It clearly says to look at Jesus, “the perfecter of faith.” Even when we do not see a way out and our own vision clouds our view, he will strengthen our faith and help us see the way out. Every day, we need to stay focused on Jesus. Only then will we be able to fulfill the calling that the Lord has placed on our lives.
You may be thinking I don’t have a calling. I’m not a pastor, a Sunday school teacher, a musician, a singer, a choir director, a deacon... As Christians, we each have a calling on our lives. This calling may not require us to have a leadership role within the church. Our mission may be to write notes of encouragement to those who are grieving, to help serve meals at the local homeless shelter, to volunteer to clean the church, or countless other ways we could serve the Lord. God may be calling you to be a prayer warrior, going to the throne of grace on behalf of people who are sick, battling addictions, or enduring heartache of some kind. Ask God to show you what he wants you to do.
When we get to Heaven, individuals who have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ will hear the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:23). What does a servant do? They work. In the same way, we should devote our lives to the work of the Lord. The Bible says we should do everything we do as unto the Lord. That means everything we do should be done for God, not for man. So whether you are mowing the lawn for your neighbor, donating clothes to the church clothes closet, or helping collect items for someone who lost their home due to a fire, always complete the task as if you were working for our Heavenly Father. He gave his only Son to die on a cross for our sins. He gave his best. We should strive daily to give our best to him in return.
The Hoppers, a Southern Gospel singing group, sing a song titled, “We’ll Work ‘Till Jesus Comes.” That is exactly what we are called to do. We are called to share the Good News with everyone we meet, whether we are standing on the platform at church or standing in the checkout lane at the grocery store. Looking at the headlines, it is imperative that we tell people about Jesus and how he died to save them from their sins and give them the gift of eternal life. The return of Jesus Christ is closer than ever before, yet there are so many people who do not have this blessed hope. We need to be “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13). It should be our primary goal in life to share this blessed hope with everyone we meet.
Perhaps you think this is the pastor’s job. Or maybe you feel an evangelist would be able to explain the Gospel more eloquently. But what about the people who will not go to church or attend a revival? How can someone hear about the Lord unless someone tells them? Will you be the one to answer the call that God has placed on your life? Will you take time to visit someone, to write to someone, to talk to someone and tell them about the saving grace of Jesus Christ? You are the only Bible some people will ever read. If you do not tell them about Jesus, they may never be able to look beyond their circumstances. They may never know the joy of looking beyond the sunset. Don’t let the impending storm clouds get in your way. Set your eyes on Jesus Christ. Allow him to use you according to his perfect will. I can guarantee that your life will be forever changed when you start looking beyond the shortcomings of this world and begin focusing on the amazing plan God has for your life!
In Christ’s Love,