Of Blue Skies

Then God said, “Let there be something to divide the water in two!” So God made the air to divide the water in two. Some of the water was above the air, and some of the water was below it. God named the air “sky.” Evening passed, and morning came. This was the second day.

Then God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered together so the dry land will appear.” And it happened. 10 God named the dry land “earth.” He named the water that was gathered together “seas.” God saw that this was good. (Genesis 1:6-8, International Children’s Bible).

It was mid to late October in 1978. I was a signalman on the USS Mt. Whitney (the ship pictured above). We left Dublin, Ireland going back to our home port, Norfolk, Virgina.

About two days out of Dublin we saw a dramatic change in the weather. When we left Dublin it was cold and raining. The sky was gray and the water matched it. I went on watch at midnight. When I went out on signal bridge weather decks that night. It was a nasty night in the weather. Sometime before daylight the clouds blew out. None of us noticed at that time because we were pretty busy that night. At sunrise we saw the change in weather. The sun was rising on a beautiful day. When I got off watch during breakfast, before I went below to get some food and then some sleep, I took a minute of so to look at the sky around me. To that point it was the most beautiful day I had seen during my navy days. I even remember asking if there could be a prettier day. I didn’t think so.

As it turned out, I was wrong. I went back on watch from lunch time until dinner. Just a couple of weeks before we were in the North Sea and looked at 20 foot waves. When I came up on watch this particular afternoon, it was different. It was about as different as it could get. Before, we had waves coming over the bow and drenching the signal bridge and everyone up there. But on this October afternoon, the water looked like glass.

It generally doesn’t happen that way. That evening, I saw one of the most beautiful sunsets imaginable. God painted an amazing picture of the sun setting on the Atlantic. I won’t call it my favorite sunset, but it would be up there. When I came back on watch at midnight, I found myself wanting to rush sunrise. I wanted to see all the colors God would use for sunrise. We were blessed. For the next ten days we slowly made our way home looking at the water that was glass and the sky that at the very least was an amazing sight to watch and see.

I learned something on that cruise. The sea remained unbelievably calm. The sky was beautiful. And, when the sea is on the calm side, the water reflects the color of the sky. Over the next ten days, difficult though our work may have been, it was also a time to believe in God and not understood people who did not, based on this incredible sunrise alone.

As I worked that afternoon I thought about that very idea. Who can look on the beauty of a day like that day and not see God’s hand? It made me think about our lesson today. Pleas, don’t start thinking that I was reading studying the Bible everyday, I was not. I honestly didn’t care much about the Bible at all in those days.

Genesis 1:6 reminds us that God changed the atmosphere. God created the sky and separated it from the waters, the only thing that wasn’t brand new that day. It was like a brand new canvas on which God would paint a beautiful day.

God split the water on the second day. From some of it, came beautiful sunrises and sunsets. In between those bookends, God made a whole lot of blue skies. Somewhere in my life I was told that prior to the flood there was no such thing as rain. I am unsure where the idea may come from. I see nothing to really support that in Scripture. To think in those terms, however, leaves a whole lot of time and space for blue skies.

As I am putting the finishing touches on this post, it is another morning of clear blue skies. I feel certain it will also be another really hot day. It is, after all, still Texas and it is still July. Summer heat have, and likely always will be elements of this part of creation. And, so are those beautiful blue skies.

Evening passed and morning came, the second day.

Be blessed.

Seeking the genuine,

Copyright 2020, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

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