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Dawn at the beach

September 2009 | by John Thornbury

Dawn at the beach


I have seen many spectacular sights of the natural world in my day, but few move me like the view of dawn at the beach. Pick your location: it does not matter. It is fantastic anywhere.


The vista from the shore is split into three layers. There is the sandy beach; the sky above a blue canopy, typically divided from water by a grey mist; and the ocean itself in the middle.

     In a brief visit to the seaside recently as the sun began to shed its light, the ocean looked like shimmering silver. Streaks of brilliant pink lit up the sky at first. And then that mighty star we call the sun peeked above the water, a blazing red.

     When it has fully risen over the horizon, shrouded by the grey mist above the water, the sun glows with a breathtaking beauty. Words can’t describe it; no camera could capture it.

     The sheer vastness of the ocean is awesome. As I stand looking across the Atlantic, I think of how great God must be to make such a body of water.

     Then I think of lands far away that touch the ocean, such as Europe and Africa. I think of the brave explorers such as Christopher Columbus and the Pilgrim Fathers who crossed the Atlantic to bring Christianity to this continent of North America.

     A biblical prophet named Malachi saw in the rising sun a picture of the coming of God’s Messiah, Jesus Christ. He said, ‘But to you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness shall arise with healing in his wings’ (4:2).

     ‘Healing in his wings’ – what does that mean? Perhaps the ‘wings’ of the sun refer to the rays of light that beam from it. We do know that the sun is the source of nourishment to our world. Without the sun we would freeze in the dark.

     The coming of Jesus Christ the first time brought light and salvation to a dark world. Millions have found hope and salvation by trusting in him. At his second coming he will introduce the final phase of God’s redemptive plan. He will raise the dead, catch up the saints, and destroy Antichrist.

     Are you discouraged today over the spiritual darkness all about you? Look up, believer. Your Lord is coming again to shine forth in his inimitable glory.

John F. Thornbury

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