By Miriam Rossow
It is a grey, rainy, foggy day. The wind is blowing, the clouds are dark, and the rain is pouring down. This description of the weather the last few days fits my heart as well. I don’t know if I feel this way because I’m coming off of a time away, watching my husband do something he absolutely loves and is extremely good at, as well as seeing friends, and so have a bit of a let down. It seems like my heart should be full and happy because of that. Maybe it is because it is the end of January and I know February is sure to bring more of the same grey and cold weather and, although I was in Houston, it was not particularly sunny and warm!
My mood and sad, grey heart could be reflecting the fact that it seems like the devil is winning. Everywhere I look it seems people are hurting, or being let down by the church, or even by God. I have friends whose marriages are falling apart. I have friends who have lost loved ones or who are walking alongside people who have lost loved ones, children included. I see friends struggling with depression and a complete sense of brokenness and loneliness.
Church has a clear vision and mission, and yet the numbers seem to be static and our finances are tight, causing hard decisions to be made. I have friends who struggle with family relationships and hard decisions on how to care for the people around them in the best way. The global outlook isn’t much better with poverty, war, and displacement all around, from natural phenomenons to human differences. Wherever I turn it can seem as if God has forgotten me, and you. It looks and feels like the devil is winning, and that God has turned His face away from me and so many others.
It looks and feels like the devil is winning, and that God has turned His face away from me and so many others.
Just as I begin to feel as though the rain and clouds are here to stay, the rain stops. And just like that, the clouds disperse just a little. Bits of blue sky begin to peek through and the sun is working its way through the dark layers. As the sun continues to shine, it causes the clouds to disperse even more. It begins to push them away with its warm rays.
And as I begin to slide down this slippery slope and feel as though darkness is going to overtake me, Jesus opens my eyes to His light. His light begins to shine through those dark clouds and they begin to disperse. Within broken marriages, people are surrounded by family and friends that pray for healing and support in the pain and confusion. Children in the midst of these broken relationships find special time with a parent, sibling, or grandparent. Death is ugly and painful; and yet, in death is new life. Relationships between those living are strengthened and renewed as they mourn and remember and support each other. And although not always the comfort we want, there is the promise and hope of a perfect reunion.
I pray that those struggling with depression, anxiety, and loneliness find hope in knowing that Jesus has overcome the world. I pray that His light will shine through the darkness. And as I look around the church and see people who are missing, or people who are hurting, or who have been let down by the church, I thank God that He has moved some people to other congregations for support and encouragement and growth. And although we do not always respond in a perfect way, God has given many people hearts that care. He has prepared people in our congregation with hearts that care and love and are ready to serve.
And as I begin to slide down this slippery slope and feel as though darkness is going to over take me, Jesus opens my eyes to His light.
The light of Jesus can not be overcome by the darkness of Satan. His light shines through the darkness of today and brings a promise of sunnier days to come. The sun warms the day and pushes the clouds away as a reminder to me that the darkness is not here forever.
And yet the clouds do not stay away forever, either. The sun his hidden again and the rain comes back later in the day. However, what I see differently now is the clouds have not won, even if they are here today. The sun may have been hidden, but it is not gone! It still warms the day despite the clouds. The Holy Spirit is at work amidst the darkness.
Look past the grey clouds. Look past the fog and rain, and see and feel the light of Jesus shining in and through the people around you. Jesus has not taken away the clouds, so as we sit in these darker days of January and February, we long for warm and sunny days. We look for the sun to shine through the clouds even if just for a moment as a promise and hope for warmer days to come.
The sun may have been hidden but it is not gone! It still warms the day despite the clouds. The Holy Spirit is at work amidst the darkness.
In this world we will have tribulation, and Jesus has overcome this world. The darkness cannot overcome the Light that is Jesus! The dark grey days of January and February have bits of sun in them and will fade away into May and June with days full of sun!
Come quickly Lord Jesus and open my eyes to see your light in the world now. Do not let the darkness blind me from your light and promise that you have overcome the world!
This blog is referenced in the Christmas Eve sermon linked above. Lord I believe… Or maybe I don’t