the Evening of Glow at Bethels Beach - Boazat 2024-01-20 11:34:47.0 / 51 Hits
I'm not ashamed to say that in the middle of summer in New Zealand, the healing power of nature is fantastic. Auckland, where I live, is a large city with 25% of New Zealand's 5 million people. The country itself is an island, and the ocean is just a short distance east or west of the city. Even in the heat of summer, the water is so cold that after the age of 45, I don't go above my knees.
As of mid-January, when I'm writing this, the weather is in the low 80s and I think this is the place to be. I don't think I need Phuket, the Maldives, Hawaii, or any of the other South Pacific island nations I've heard about. So for the past few days, I've been taking the time to visit some of the famous spots around here and just relax. I've been meditating on the beach at Takapuna, Little Shoal Bay, and Bethel's Beach, watching the sunbathers.
Bethels Beach on Auckland's west coast was particularly memorable. It is a popular tourist destination and a favorite spot for surfers. What makes it different from other beaches is the black sand. For the first time in a long time, I wanted to watch the sunset on a black beach. When I asked my wife to go, she immediately said no. There's no way a rational husband can win over an emotional wife. After much deliberation, I found a companion. It was a win-win situation. It was a chance to serve and create memories for a visiting acquaintance, and it was a chance to fulfill my own emotional needs.
I arrived before the evening's sunset, my bare feet pounding the black sand as I approached the beach. There weren't many people on the expansive beach, but most of them were lounging, and the sun was sinking at a frightening rate toward the western horizon. It looks toward the horizon as if it has fulfilled its mission of lighting up the world for the day and now needs to rest.
As it does so, it leaves a picture in the sky, high and wide, for anyone who happens to be watching. It is a sunset. The sun that gave us light gives us a fantastic reddish-red sunset for those of us who still need it. As I watched the sunset, I talked with my companions. We talked about how we hope to have such a beautiful sunset at the end of our lives.
I looked behind me at the group watching the sunset on the beach. The shadows were bigger than I thought. But the shadows that were closely following them disappeared as they watched the ecstatic sunset. The same must have happened behind me. I envisioned the backs of believers who looked to the Lord in hope, and their cares, worries, and anxieties were gone like shadows.
How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good tidings of blessing and good news over the mountains (Isaiah 52:7).