Wineglass Bay Sunrise with Wombat Tracks, Freycinet National Park, Tasmania

Wineglass Bay, Freycinet National Park, Tasmania, Australia. Sunrise over Wineglass Bay and the Hazards, with wombat tracks in the foreground of the sand dunes. A Tasmanian Wilderness Landscape photograph.

TASMANIAN LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY SERIES

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“…and I saw the glory of the God of Israel coming from the east. His voice was like the roar of rushing waters.” (Ezekiel 43:2)

As I lay awake in my one-man tent listening to the waves crash on Wineglass Bay, this was the Bible verse that kept rolling around in my mind. In all my trips to Wineglass Bay the waves had never sounded as loud as they did that night. In my dreamy state I thought of heaven and of what it will be like to finally hear my Lord’s voice as the sound of mighty waters. I felt very small, fragile, mortal…

Then my mind drifted onto another passage of Scripture about heaven:

“Then a voice came from the throne [of God in heaven], saying: ‘Praise our God, all you his servants, you who fear him, both small and great!’ Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting: ‘Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.’ (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints.) Then the angel said to me, ‘Write: “Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!” and he added, “These are the true words of God.”” (Revelation 19:5-9)

I began to dream of the day when I will stand in the midst of the multitude, our unified voice like the roar of rushing waters, giving highest praise and glory and honor to God. According the the context of this Scripture, false Christendom–that which is manmade religion instead of intimate relationship with God–will have been finally judged and destroyed by God, and we believers will erupt in loudest praise over its fall (Revelation 17:1-19:9). Then we, as the Bride of Christ, will finally see Jesus face to face and enjoy intimate communion with him at the wedding supper of the Lamb and throughout eternity…

(Please see: “Message”)

I no longer wanted to be on earth but wished to leave and be with Jesus. “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain…I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far…” (Philippians 1:21,23). Somewhere in the midst of these thoughts I drifted off to sleep.

I rudely awoke to the sound of my watch alarm, and in a startled stupor I hurried up the sand dunes to photograph sunrise over Wineglass Bay. As I was setting up my camera, a very large, bright star, captured my attention. It was shining just above the horizon, exactly where the sky was beginning to lighten into dawn, and another Scripture of heaven came to me.

“I, Jesus…am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star” (Revelation 22:16)

The Second Coming of Jesus, the bright Morning Star, will signal the end of the long, dark, cold days of suffering on earth for us believers. The dawn of God’s manifest glory on earth and the dawn of eternity will rapidly follow Christ’s Return. I, along with all believers, eagerly look forward to this day. (In reality, this star was Jupiter, the “King” planet, not Venus, “the Morning Star”, and although it was technically setting, it reminded me of the Scripture about Jesus being the Morning Star.)

As the darkness of night gave way to glorious rays of the sun, all of Creation seemed to celebrate. A couple of sea eagles took to flight over Wineglass Bay, soaring on wings of the dawn. (I wanted to capture them in my photo, but it was still too dark to get a high quality photo of them). As I looked into the water, to my amazement I could see large skates (like sting rays) swimming through the churning surf, and the birds began singing their joyous songs. I could see many different sets of animal tracks in the sand dunes from the night before: wallabies, potoroos, possums and quolls. A kind wombat even waddled through the sand dune in the foreground of my photo as he made his way down to Wineglass Bay.

I had chosen this composition the night before, and my original plan was to capture the morning side light on the Hazards (the mountains behind Wineglass Bay), the beach and the dunes. After all the effort I had put in to backpack, camp and rise before dawn to capture my intended shot, I was very disappointed when, 10 minutes before I had the right lighting conditions, clouds built over the sun and eclipsed the beautiful, sharp, golden morning light. I waited for a half hour in the hopes that the clouds might break, but as they only increased, I realized my chance to capture the photo I really wanted was gone.

So I am left with a much different photo than the one I had set out to capture. However, when I look at this shot, it inevitably reminds me of that night that I lay awake thinking about heaven, longing to be with Jesus, and of “the Morning Star”, who will soon bring this long, dark night to a close and usher in eternal Paradise…

…and that is an infinitely better memory to have than of a picture-perfect sunrise over one of the most beautiful places on earth…

“He who testifies to these things says, ‘Yes, I am coming soon.’ Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.” (Revelation 22:20)