As the daylight hours grow noticeably shorter, I find there’s a new perspective for me. The changing of the seasons is an opportunity to readjust my thinking. I discover a shift from the long, activity-filled days of summer to the shorter, more contemplative days of fall. It’s a chance to put on a sweatshirt, feel the chill in the air, and hear the rustle of leaves in the trees as they change their hue.
Fall is my favorite season. I love the crisp days and the crunch of leaves under my feet. Tasting tart apples from the orchard, and picking pumpkins at the pumpkin patch with my grand girls is priceless.
Yet there are still some days when I find there is a sort of darkness in my soul. It zaps me of energy so very quickly. Relationship challenges, work responsibilities, and day to day life can bring me down if I dwell too much on the hard things.
It’s easy to get caught up in the cycle of darkness, and it’s a bit dangerous, too. I can spiral quickly with my own narrative of gloominess. Get tripped up by the things that bring me down. Yet not all is lost in this time that still contains a splinter of light.
Author Joyce Rupp writes about such darkness in her book LITTLE PIECES OF LIGHT. “Life does not always unfold as we wish… Light-filled happiness buries itself in a murky landscape inside of us… Splintered apart from what gave us security.”
When I succumb to these dark places I lose the security that usually grounds me. And, I am reminded that this is an opportunity for me to seek a greater trust of God. It creates a place for transformation of my spirit. This happens when I realize that the Creator is ALWAYS walking the dark path with me, no matter what.
It is not easy to get to this place of certainty and peace. So, my reassurance comes when I start making a list of the places where I have seen light infiltrate the murky times of my life. Here are a few from the list: kayaking with a friend, walking my pup, sitting in the quiet morning in my porch or living room, reading in comfy chair with a cup of tea, driving on days with the top down on my convertible, time with family and friends, to name just a few.
It is only when I look up from the “murky landscape” that I notice there is still light poking through the darkness. Light that is ever-present in my relationship with the Creator. Light that shines when friends and family come alongside me offering love and support.
There are times the light is barely visible, yet it is ALWAYS present. Sometimes it takes the steadfast people in my life to show me the light. To help me stay grounded when it feels as if I am falling once again into darkness.
In John’s Gospel, light is spoken of in a way that it is always being present with God. Some call this John’s birth story of Jesus: “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. The Word was with God in the beginning. What came into being through the Word was life, and the life was the light for all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness doesn’t extinguish the light.” (John 1:1-4, CEB)
It’s such a great reminder for me that even on the darkest of days…. even in the darkest of times…. God’s love and light permeate and bring hope. Light and darkness cannot occupy the same space. Light always pushes away darkness.
FOR FURTHER THOUGHT
I invite you to look up from your murky place and notice the light that’s breaking through in your life. To notice the people in your life who wish to come alongside and support you. To see the Light of Christ which has not left you.
Friends, we will get through the dark times, and things will likely look different on the other side. In the meantime, while stuck in murky darkness, look for the light that will continue to break through. Take note! Celebrate the light! You are not alone. I am here and willing to listen. I am praying for you, dear reader.
Loving Lord, what a blessing to know that You are always near. Thank You for letting the light of Your love break through even the darkest places in my life. She me the ways I can live every day in Your light. Amen.
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