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I started a tradition about three years ago of waking up early on Saturdays and heading to the beach for a very specific reason: to watch the sun rise.

I see sunrises and sunsets as a way to watch God create a beautiful piece of art right in front of my eyes...better than anything you can find at Art Basel!

Every sunrise looks a little differ- ent-the hints of orange, red, pink, sometimes purple. The cloud forma- tions are always different too- some- times covering part of the sun, other times they are tiny, wispy, and feath- er-like that the light bounces off of. In Psalm 19:1 it states “The heavens de- clare the glory of God; the skies pro- claim the work of his hands.” Next time you are out on a walk in the evening, or if you can find the motivation to roll out of bed extra early one morning,

I encourage you to meditate on the words of Psalm 19 as you watch the sun rise or set and thank God for the beau- tiful painting he made.

Watching God paint the sky is also a unique opportunity to reflect on what that means to us as Christians. Just like the sunrise and sunset starting as a blank canvas, we too are blank canvases that God created into beau- tiful humans that he loves and cher- ishes. However, our blank canvas

is tarnished. We are born sinful. At creation, Adam and Eve were made perfect and in the image of God, but because of the Fall into sin, humans became imperfect. For years God’s people hoped for a Savior that would wipe away those sins and eventually, through Jesus, we were made perfect in God’s eyes again.

We again have a blank canvas that God works with. He spent just as much time creating you as he does painting those beauti- ful sunsets or sunrises. In the Bible, it refers to God creating us as a slab of clay that he molds together. You might see a flaw, but because of Jesus, God sees your beauty. God created you down to the smallest details-the shape of your nose, the moles or freckles on your skin (my mom always called them beauty marks!), the color of your eyes, even your toes! It’s not just outside he forms, it’s also the inside-our heart and soul. God uses every event-whether we see them as good or bad, happy or sad- to shape us. He takes those op- portunities to help us learn to trust and lean on Him more! One day you will look back on the drama of high school and see that God used those opportu- nities to shape and form you into the adult he wanted you to become. One day you will recognize that it was one small part of a larger mural he was painting for you of your life. It may seem messy at times, but in the bigger picture, it is absolutely beautiful. I’ll leave you with this bible verse from Isaiah 64:8: “But now, Lord, you are our Father. We are the clay, and you are our potter. We are the work of your hands.”

You are God’s masterpiece. Every part of you. Embrace who God created you to be and thank him for the opportuni- ties he gives you to learn more about Him and grow into the person he wants you to be-a redeemed child of God.

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