After a solid week of rain and gray skies I seriously contemplated moving.
And then the sun broke out, and I recovered my sanity.
In all seriousness, however, it’s not funny. The gray skies, rain, and cooler temperatures did something to my brain. The only blue color to the week was my mood. I battled a heavy load of dark thoughts and struggled to find light. Although I knew what the problem was, the struggle was real. It’s why I invested in this a few years ago.
There are those who would say Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) isn’t real. To that I say come visit me when it’s cloudy and stay until the sun comes out. You’ll witness a real “Dr. Jekyll, Mr. Hyde” moment!
Anyway, I’m not sure what my point is except to say that when darkness presses in, one has to press harder to find the light. Find any and every available means that will help you glean a sliver of light. For me, this has meant taking my vitamins, exercising regularly, writing, playing praise and worship music continually, and participating actively in church ministries and Bible study. And buying a therapy light.
Additionally, I’m intentional in giving thanks. Though I don’t keep a “One Thousand Gifts” list, I mentally record seemingly small and insignificant things for which I am thankful. (Of course, the “big” things are noted, as well.) Hearing the breeze through the trees, smelling the strong scent of lavender from the lilac bushes, and watching a dragonfly flit across the yard are just a few of the simple things I mentally scribble down.
It should go without saying, too, that keeping a bit of margin in the calendar and getting enough sleep are instrumental in finding the light. But it’s always easier said than done, right? (Trust me, I know this. Lord willing, I will have four teenagers in the house next month, two of which are actively obtaining their Driver’s permit hours. If you want to find me, look for me in our van.)
There are necessary things (like sleep), but how often do we acknowledge light as a necessary thing? Yes, we know that light, as in the sun, is necessary. But so is the light of God’s word. His word is what sustains us, giving us hope and truth. The Word is what pierces the darkness. Friends, when dark days come, His word becomes the flashlight we wield to extinguish the black that surrounds us.
We know how easy it is to sing in the light, but when was the last time you sang in the dark? We thank Him in the light, but have you praised Him in the dark? I know the difficulty of this, the sacrifice of praise when the heart is shattered. But I also know the closeness of His presence that sometimes only comes in the dark. For sometimes, the dark blots out the things of this world so that we can witness the light that’s there all along, the light we fail to see until darkness falls. Our praise, our thanksgiving, each whispered word, every broken hallelujah punctures the night, becomes a pinprick of light showcasing God’s presence and glory. Do we shine like stars in the night? Do we reflect His light? Darkness is a given. Perhaps our praise should be, as well.