"Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger,and give no opportunity to the devil." Ephesians 4:26–27 (ESV)
I am speaking this Sunday on Forgiveness, both giving and receiving. In my studies, I ran across an interesting line from Jonathan Tropper's novel, This Is Where I Leave You. Two brothers are talking after one has been hurt...
“I wasted a lot of time being angry, time I can't get back. And now I see you, so angry about what happened to your marriage, and I just want to tell you, at some point it doesn't matter who was right and who was wrong. At some point, being angry is just another bad habit, like smoking, and you keep poisoning yourself without thinking about it.” ― Jonathan Tropper, This is Where I Leave You
Time is indeed too precious to waste. Once it is gone we can never get it back. How much time have we needlessly wasted by being angry? I wonder sometimes if being angry really does become a very bad habit. Something makes us angry, we refuse to forgive, bitterness creeps into our hearts, and then we walk around angry all the time, not even knowing why. Let's not let the sun go down today until we have forgiven those who have hurt us and prayed the anger away.
“You will never forgive anyone more than God has already forgiven you.” ― Max Lucado
G.K. Chesterton — 'There is no way in which a man can earn a star or deserve a sunset.'
On my way from Tulare to Visalia, while making visits this week I stopped along the side of the road to admire these majestic oaks. The timing was perfect and I watched The Lord paint another masterpiece across the skies. All the way home I whistled the tune of Beyond The Sunset. When I got home that night I looked the lyric up and fell in love with the story behind the hymn.
On a summer evening in 1936 Virgil and Blanch Brock attended dinner at a friends home in Indiana. After having enjoyed an amazing sunset over Winona Lake the group talked about the sunset, how the sky turned orange and the reflection on the water made the lake look like it was on fire. Virgil's cousin, Horace Burr, was at the table that night listening to everyone speak of the splendor they had all witnessed. Horace, who had been blind since birth and never had the opportunity to see a sunset for himself, exclaimed with excitement, "That is the most amazing sunset I have ever seen!".
Virgil asked him what he meant by that, since he knew that Horace was blind. Horace responded saying, "I see through other people's eyes, and I think I often see more - I see beyond the sunset.".
Later that night Virgil and Blanch, moved by Horace's words sat down together and penned the lyric and music to the hymn we now know as Beyond The Sunset.
Beyond the sunset, O blissful morning. When with our Saviour heaven's begun. Earth's toiling ended, O glorious dawning Beyond the sunset when day is done.
Beyond the sunset, no clouds will gather. No storms will threaten, no fears annoy. O day of gladness, O day unending. Beyond the sunset eternal joy.
Beyond the sunset, a hand will guide me, To God the Father whom I adore. His glorious presence, His words of welcome, Will be my portion on that fair shore.
Beyond the sunset, O glad reunion, With our dear loved ones who've gone before, In that fair homeland we'll know no parting. Beyond the sunset forever more.
I am going to a city, Where the streets with gold are laid; Where the tree of life is blooming And the roses never fade.
Here they bloom but for a season Soon their beauty is decayed. I am going to a city, Where the roses never fade. Loved ones gone to be with Jesus, In their robes of white arrayed; Now are waiting for my coming, Where the roses never fade.