Photographers call it “golden hour.” It’s the time just after sunrise, or right before sunset where the sun is not too harsh or dim, and the rays cast off the most stunning light. Photographers will wake up before dawn, or wait all day to chase golden hour. When golden hour arrives, they act quickly as not to miss this window of time where everything is perfect.
On one very wintry day, in a waiting season of life, I bundled up and along with my camera, headed to the shore to wait for sunset. In a matter of minutes, the sky turned different colors of incredible vibrancy. I thought I had reached the pinnacle of Golden Hour, but it seemed like for this particular sunset, the longer I waited, the more brilliant the colors became. Either way, every shot was worth shooting because I was still capturing inside Golden Hour.
I believe we have “golden hours” too; we are also light chasers. And so, we too have a time of waiting, and of acting. Learning discernment is a necessary step in this dance between Him and us. It is how we will know when we’re to stay in wait and when we’re to act, how to decide between the “good move” and the “God Move;” a discerning spirit will tell us when to pray and ask or pray and listen. How do we cultivate a discerning spirit in a feelings driven, social media saturated world? Well, if discernment is a gift, then let’s ask for this gift. If discerning spirits come from lingering in the Word of God, then let’s linger long and steadily. Let’s meditate on it day and night [Joshua 1:8}. Let’s listen and pay attention; the Holy Spirit will be speaking.
Our God is one of order and not of chaos, and He has always been exactly on time according to His very good plan. What a difficult concept to live in at first! But trusting His plans for our lives becomes easier, becomes an adventure, when we’re already in rhythm with a discerning spirit.
I do not know His plans. But I do know what He says about His plans: they are perfect, they will gift us hope and an abundant future. I want to live in the timing and journey of a God who has ordered the days and nights. One who has laid out a rescue plan for humanity through a baby-the most hopeful of us all-without the praises of kings but of Heaven instead. And a God who is not early, never late, hardly ever how we expect but still and always right on time.