I’d been watching for a window of opportunity all morning. The weatherman promised a ray of sunshine or two and I could really use it. After struggling through November and December, I was craving sun on my face. (God really meant for me to be born near a tropical beach. I just know it. Somehow, my parents didn’t get the message.)
It’s my desire to make the most of our Indiana winter so when that sun cast shadows across my office floor, I grabbed my coat and shoes and headed out the door.
After a morning at my desk, a brisk walk down our country road was just the thing. I made it to the halfway mark for my southbound trek then turned around to loop back, only to realize that while my back was turned, a brisk wind had whipped up menacing grey clouds on the northern horizon. I wasn’t sure I’d make it back to the house before snow or rain began to fall. Leaning into the wind, I pressed on, making the return trip in record time.
Isn’t life an awful lot like that sometimes?
Things are looking good and we’re on our happy way to a chosen destination when storm clouds descend, catching us off-guard. Suddenly our journey goes from a joyous walk in the light to plodding down a path toward darkness.
When the path looks more like a perilous upward climb than a straight and clear saunter, it’s easy to get discouraged and to want to give up.
The darkness of anger, disappointment, betrayal, spiritual and physical sickness — so many things can threaten to whip up an attitude of defeat. Some days, it looks as if God’s favor has been removed and the light of His presence is covered over by the gloom of this world.
A few beautiful young people in my life have been walking this path lately. It’s a journey I’ve made more than once myself, and I can feel their pain. My prayer for them today is that they will press on, that they will know this: the clouds will lift.
As suddenly as they appeared, they’ll shift. And they will move on. We don’t have the power to stop the roll of darkness through our world, but we God does. We must keep our faces turned toward Him and walk through the darkness to catch The Light.
Our instincts tell us to turn and run the other way. Or worse, to hit the ditch, hunker down and hide. But the bravest thing we can do is turn toward God. When we do that, when we lean in and say “Help me find the way through this!” we’ve taken the first steps through the darkness. And we’ll come out the other side stronger from having weathered this storm.
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, when you face trials of many kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance, and perseverance must finish its work in order for you to be mature and complete.” James 1:2-4
“What matters in life, is not what you achieve, but rather what you willingly endure. We will all achieve various heights of achievement in life. In a very real sense it is irrelevant to God how much we achieve. This is vitally important to remember. We are saved purely by grace, there is nothing we can do to gain more favor with God.No, the more interesting thing to God is our willingness to submit and to endure hard times. Just as we will all achieve different successes in life, we will all be handed different degrees of trials in life. It is not helpful or useful to compare what others are given to endure. Rather, what we each need to do is to submit our will, even when it means walking through a dark period in life. What matters is our willingness to endure.”