“You light a lamp for me. The Lord, my God, lights up my darkness.”
We are in dark days.
And they are just going to get darker.
The coming of the winter solstice means darkness gets the upper hand at these latitudes. Day-length shrinks dramatically. We wake up in the dark, and come home in the dark. It is cold and dreary and just plain bleak at times. It’s just reality.
I feel like a mole.
I left this morning as the sun was rising, and I came home to a sky of inky black.
But if I allow all that feeling like a mole business to railroad my thinking patterns and attitudes, I’m going to spend half of my life being miserable.
Yes, it’s cold. Yes, it’s inconvenient. It can actually be dangerous if you are unprepared for the raw temperatures and heavy snowdrifts and at times treacherous road conditions.
It can be absolutely stunningly beautiful!
You just have to have the eyes to see it.
You have to take the time to notice how the setting sun strikes the hoar frost and sets it to sparkling in shades of pink champagne.
You have to marvel at the way the snow creates mini worlds of dunes and scallops after it has been carved by the winds.
You have to learn to see snowflakes as individuals, and be blown away at how delicate and creatively formed they are.
Beauty, right there smack dab in the middle of the darkest days of the year.
Friend, are you trudging through dark days?
You will, you know. It’s rather inevitable. We live in a dark place, where evil and injustice and selfishness and inequality seem to win.
So if the darkness is unavoidable, how do we manage?
You look for the lamp.
This beautiful passage in Psalm 18 is meant to steady us when the days are dark. See, I don’t need to run around frantically trying to summon up enough light on my own. No, the lamp and the lighting of it are a gift – a beautiful demonstration of solidarity with us, an acknowledgment of the darkness, but a promise of light right in the middle of it all.
Yes. The days are dark. Some darker than others…. Some so dark we wonder if we will ever be able to see again.
But just as the beauty of the frost lit up my pine trees as I came home tonight, so the Light of God will light our way when our path grows weary and bleak and dark.
We just need eyes to see it.
Watch for the light to shine in dark places with me?
Father, we get so discouraged when we are in a dark place. Point us to Your light! Shine Your beauty around us and illuminate our paths. Give us eyes to see that even in the darkest places, there is hope and beauty and grace to sustain us. Amen.