Here on the East Coast, we are blessed to have magnificent sunrises over the ocean. When I get the chance to watch the sunrise over the beach, I always take the opportunity. But sunsets don’t occur over the ocean on the East Coast, except for a few unique areas where you can catch glimpses of it during certain times of the year. Sunset Beach in Cape May, New Jersey, is one of those unique places; where I had the blessing of being this weekend.
At the southernmost point of New Jersey, and facing west, Sunset Beach sits at the intersection of the Atlantic Ocean and the Delaware Bay, allowing for a view of what appears to be the sun setting over the ocean. Every evening, locals and tourists gather to watch this phenomenon. This past weekend, a friend and I made it in just in time to see the final moments of the sun’s decent.
While the beauty of it was awe inspiring, the environment and reverence of the onlookers was even more magnificent. Despite there being over 100 people on the beach, not one spoke a word in the last few minutes of the sun’s decent. There were no sounds as the onlookers, which included children and even pets, stood and watched God’s magnificent display. I’m certain you could have heard someone whisper. My friend remarked that she had never experienced such reverence over a sunset. Neither had I. When the sun had fully disappeared, the crowd applauded. I know that my friend and I were applauding the God of the sunset.
The Days to Come
Yet the true magnificence of this scene came to life in a new way when my friend asked, will this be what it’s like when Jesus comes back on the clouds? When the sun sets on that day, what will we be like? Will we be reverent? Terrified? Joyous? Will we be silent?
What beautiful reverence there was in that silence. I couldn’t help but wonder how many people were recognizing the Creator over the created. I couldn’t help being in awe, realizing that the God of the sunset, my God, knew before I was born that I would witness this magnificent scene — and this custom-made sunset at this exact moment in time. He even knew my heart would think of Him and thank Him. Oh what a loving, gracious Father we serve to prepare all of these blessings ahead of time. When the sun sets on my final day here on Earth, I pray I am just as peaceful and content, even willing to applaud that which He has created and completed.
Joanna Sanders is a graduate of Villanova University and Moody Theological Seminary. She’s also the founder and head writer of Colossians46.com, which provides biblical content support, writing, and editing. Joanna is the co-author and editor of the recently released, “DiscipleTrip” by Dr. Joey Cook. Joanna’s first book, “Fire Women” is scheduled for release and publication this fall. Most importantly, she is wife to Geoff and mom to three godly men-in-training. Her blog name “The Landing” comes from the account of the Ark resting on the mountain, creating a settled place — a landing — for man to start over, which echoes her new life in Christ.