Today was dark. Very dark. For a long time. Sixteen hours or so. Not just from the thick clouds and snow. Today is the shortest day of the year. And here in the Northwest, that means just a few hours of light. Assuming the Sun even shows up. And today is the official beginning of Winter.
Which means that beginning tomorrow the days start getting longer. Only 38 seconds longer. Longer nonetheless! And I like sunshine. A lot of sunshine.
But I like the lesson of the Northwest seasons. Each year we can trust that Winter will not be forever, Spring will arrive. Summer will come. We don’t get too settled in the pleasant times. We also know that the Winter storms will return. So much like life isn’t it? The dark times are not forever. Despair, frustration, fatigue, hurt, pain and the rest will diminish. The light will return. At least for those who walk in Christ. The great prophetic promise of Mary regarding Jesus calls us to this remembrance in this season:
Luke 1:76-79 (ESV)
76 And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways,
77 to give knowledge of salvation to his people in the forgiveness of their sins,
78 because of the tender mercy of our God, whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high
79 to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.”