Without His help we would reach the "sunset" years with bruises, breaks, and burns easily visible, but with His grace carrying us through life, the bruises, breaks, and burns take on the beauty of His love for us, and our countenance becomes a testament to His care.  Thank God for His grace.  Although I am in the "sunset" years, I trust the God will give me many more years to show others how He has loved me.

The later years of our lives are often described as the "sunset" years.  When we examine the lives of many people, we discover that the "sunset" years are often productive and beautiful.  Our taste buds would be poorer if Colonel Sanders had not persevered beyond retirement.  I am personally glad that James Michener continued to write in his later years.  Mid-day sunshine can be awfully bright, and it often washes out subtle colors by its very brilliance.  In the glare of the mid-day sun, purposes are certainly in focus and intentions are easily seen.  The road ahead is brightly lit and goals are clearly in view even though the glare may be hard on the eyes.

"From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the Lord is to be praised" (NIV).

Weekly Message

Psalm 113;3

It's important to realize that clouds, though they hinder the direct light of the sun, don't stop the sun from shining.  The sun doesn't know that its light is being blocked or filtered, but we realize when difficulties have blocked our direct desires, and we often contemplate the blocking and discover other ways to get our light to shine through.  By our "sunset"

 years we have discovered the beauty of having faced problems and having come through them with the ever-present help of our Lord and Savior, Jesus.  When we have allowed Him to help us through or carry us through our problems, we have gathered some of His glow about us, and we shine with a softer and more colorful light.

I don't mean tp degrade the years of "getting ahead."  They are necessary, dynamic, and fulfilling, but it is nice to be able to reflect more, worry less, and perhaps have more time to develop a "glow" about our lives.  A sunset with some clouds is usually more interesting than one with a clear sky.  At sunset, the clouds often cause  great beauty to unfold as the sun's rays are filtered and reflected by the clouds' translucence.  So, they often occur in our lives.  The clouds we have endured (the difficulties) make our lives in the "sunset" years more interesting, not only to us, but also to others.

At sunset, the light becomes softer, and colors, though often very bright, don't usually have a glare.  The harshness is filtered out by the larger amount of the atmosphere the sunlight has to go through.  Our opinions have softened through life's experiences, and we are usually more gentle in the "sunset" years.  Many goals have been accomplished, but important goals and tasks may still lie ahead, and our means of accomplishing them have changed.  By now we have probably abandoned the hard driving, push forward, daily compelling need to get ahead.  Our lives are just as dynamic, but not as driven.  We've learned to think more, act less, and put thought and prayer before the action.  As we age, we somehow find more time to "consult" with the one who created us, and if we will continue in patience, He will provide answers.