On my recent silent retreat I arose early to pray. I had discovered the year before that the best time to pray is just before dawn. I learned that from Jesus and quickly discovered the benefits of being awake and alert as the sun rises to a new day. I wanted a repeat of the experience I had enjoyed the year before, so I was eager to arise at 4:30 a.m. to enjoy the darkness before the sunset.
There is a dock that goes out into a lake that makes the perfect place to seethe sunrise, but the problem is that between the cabin and the lake there isno light. I had made myself comfortable on the porch eager to see the sunrise.God told me to go into His light, not stay in the light of man, so with all thecourage I could muster, I trudged through the darkness until I reached the dock.I was a bit early for the sunrise, but the view of the moon was fabulous. Itwas a full moon in the east almost orange in color. It could have been mistakenfor the sunrise. I was enraptured by the moon. As I watched it, I witnessed themost glorious site I have ever seen. The clouds formed into the shape of cherubimon either side of the moon. (No, I didn't have a camera!) I just called out Holy,Holy, Holy! I think the words Hallelujah came out of my mouth too.I knew that I was in the presence of God's holiness and that this was his specialgift to me on this retreat. It was a period of time when I felt so alive in thepresence of holiness. I felt welcomed and invited into holiness. I felt privilegedto have this experience. I could have never seen it, if I hadn't walked out ontothe dock.
That had been so wonderful; I couldn't wait for the sunrise. I waited and waitedand waited. The horizon turned beautiful colors of pink and purples, but theround orange sphere stayed hidden from view. I knew it was there, but never hadthe joy of seeing it directly, only the beauty it created in the atmosphere.Suddenly it hit me. God wanted to give me a moonset this year. The sunrise wasfor another day. This year the moon was the place He would touch me most.
I've been reminded of that view when I sing praises and worship God. I take thatpicture of holiness with me wherever I happen to be. I'm so in awe of His holiness.Romans 6:20 says, When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the controlof righteousness (or holiness). Before Christ came to live in me, I didn'tcare too much about holiness or righteousness. I was free from being convictedof my sins. I didn't ponder moons or sunrises and think of a Holy God. I wasfree from the effect of righteousness. And I've got to tell you, it didn't feelall that free. I totally agree with Paul as he describes the transformation inRomans 6:22, But now that you have been set free from sin and have becomeslaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternallife.I got a little taste of the wonder and awe of holiness that morning.It is something that I have been savoring ever since. Oh, the benefits of beholdingGod's holiness! It makes me want to be holy like He is holy. It helps me be inawe of the fact that through Christ I am righteous or holy. When I ponder God'sholiness and realize that through Christ I'm made holy, it totally overwhelmsme. Do you know about holiness?