Arise, Shine: God’s Light Follows Darkness

Do you suffer from SADs, Seasonal Affective Disorder?  I do.  It’s terrible.  During light depravation, such as weeks of fog and cloud cover, I find it very difficult to rise above the black tide of depression that threatens to overwhelm.  But then the sun shines, and suddenly all is well with the world again.  

Every culture has rituals and celebrations related to the return of the sun after winter.  It must be part of human nature when in the darkness to fear that there will never be light again.  That’s sort of what this dark time in our culture is like right now.  It has been dark for so long, it is easy to succumb to the fear that light will never shine again.  

All of today’s scriptures I noticed, are centered on the Light of God and restoration of light.  It’s that time of year in the northern hemisphere where we all eagerly await the winter solstice when the days begin to get longer and the nights shorter. But our darkness is not just the season of nature.  It is the strife, the pandemic, the change to our political and economic balance.

Ephesians 6:12-13 portrays a picture very similar to our current situation, where we “wrestle against the authorities,” against, “powers of this present darkness” and “forces of evil”.  But then Isaiah 60:19 reminds us, “The Lord will be your everlasting light and the glory of the world.”  

So let’s buy our full daylight spectrum bulbs that cheer us in our dark rooms.  But mostly, let’s keep praying and striving to remember who the real light is, and to acknowledge all the good that has come out of our current situation.  Together, lets “Arise, shine for your Light has come and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.” (Is 60:1)

2 comments

  1. Susan, you share much wisdom as always. And, as always, thought provoking. I can be good with the darkness… the physical darkness that is. That’s when Christmas lights shine best. That’s when in dim moonlight (granted, even better on the edge of outdoor flood lights 🙂 I can best witness, enjoy, and appreciate the wonderful interspecies interactions of foxes, racoons, and opossums as they emerge from the woods to forage (admittedly deer and raptors are best seen in the daylight :-). Darkness, from a metaphoric perspective though, like everyone, I could do without. But it’s in darkness heroes shine. On a bright day a candle is difficult to see. But wait until the sun goes down and the same candle can be seen a mile away. Clara Barton’s compassion shined in the horrible darkness of the Civil War. Martin Luther King shined as he called for peace when others called for destruction. I believe just down the road from where you live there is, or at least was, a statue commemorating the Confederate soldier Richard Kirkland risking his life to leave defensive cover to bring water to wounded Union soldiers laying on the battlefield during the Battle of Fredericksburg. It sometimes can be difficult to raise your candle in darkness, knowing possible results could draw negative attention. And perhaps at times it is more prudent not to raise it, but this is where wisdom makes the call. As the saying goes, not every fight needs to be fought. But leaving the last thought with scripture, which only seems fitting, and of course Jesus put it best, ” “Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house. Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.”

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    1. How well worded are your words of wisdom, John. Indeed, the light shines brightest in the dark. And the night reveals many wonders we cannot see in the day. If you read several of my blogs, you will see this written spiritually and metaphorically, many times. Sadly, long term daytime darkness, however, greatly alters the physiological balance of many people. Also, long term crisis does take its toll. I see so many people saddened and distressed by the news and circumstances of our last year. I pray that our words combined, yours and mine, help others to see beyond the sorrow and worry and to trust God and see all the good that comes out of dark times.

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