It had been a dark day here. Clouds were thick with not one peek of sunshine all day. The outline of the bare trees was stark against the grey sky. The big oak tree out back looked dull, even though its leaves were still clinging to its branches. It was just a heavy day in the way that often happens at this time of year.
And then suddenly everything changed. I’m glad that I looked out the window when I did. The change, though stunning, was very brief.
Somehow the sun did shine through that thick layer of clouds. And what a difference its appearance made. Color returned to the world outside my window! Greens, golds, rusts, and even blacks were so beautiful in those few moments. And those moments showed me that the sun was there behind the clouds, still shining even when the clouds hid its brightness again.
I don’t know why sometimes God allows His children to endure prolonged periods of heavy, dark days. I do know that suffering makes us more like Christ. Suffering is the tool that God uses to form us into His likeness……to show us Who He is……to bring Him glory. Sometimes it just doesn’t make much sense, though. And it hurts, deeply hurts.
There is hope. God hasn’t gone anywhere, even when we can’t see His light. These few words that I read recently say it very well:
“Light arises in the darkness for the upright….” (Psalm 112:4a)
This is so much more than our human wisdom. This promise isn’t, “Just look at the bright side!” Sometimes there is totally no bright side to see anyway. Please don’t tell me to try to find one.
The light that arises in our darkness is the Light of the World. The baby that we celebrate this time of year is that Light. John called Him the true Light. But baby Jesus was born into a dark world in a dark manger. His life was hardship and ended in horrific pain….all because He was the Light.
His light shines into all my dark places today, not only to expose sin, but also to show me the way and to show me that He is there in the darkness. He is there to comfort……He is there to provide…….He is there to love.
I don’t have to “find” Him. He shows Himself to me in sudden ways, sometimes even brief ways, like my burst of sunshine on that heavy day. He brings sweet answers to prayer. He fills my heart with peace. He brings a friend to cheer me. He reminds me of my many blessings.
The dark days grow my trust.
The light that arises in that darkness reminds me of the One in whom I trust…..that He is there and He is faithful.
The light shines best in the dark. May I remember that truth on every dark day.