Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Hidden but Not Gone

The weather here in Houston has been rainy and gloomy most of the week. As the sky goes, so goes the average person's mood. If the day is dark, so are our spirits. If the sun is shining and the sky is brilliant blue, we expect the day to be wonderful.

Unless, of course, something painful or tragic is happening to us--in which case a beautiful day can seem a mockery. After being informed of a loved one's death or serious illness, many people want to scream, "How can you possibly be happy?!" at everyone they see smiling. Most of us, if we have to suffer unhappiness, would rather live by the motto "Misery loves company" than by "Cry and you cry alone."

Of course, the sun doesn't really stop shining just because our section of sky is full of thunderheads. Indeed, a good bit of sunlight still gets through--very few days are so dark that we need artificial light outdoors at noon. So it is with emotional darkness. We may not see or feel God anywhere in the face of tragedy, but His light is still leading us, keeping us from fumbling, tripping, or becoming totally lost.

And sometimes, after the worst is past, we realize that "it was good for [us] to be afflicted so that [we] might learn [God's] decrees" (Ps. 119:71, NIV)--that our joy is ultimately deepened by the struggle.

When the day is dark and cloudy,
When all trace of light seems gone,
Not a ray may show, not a glimmer:
But the sun still shines beyond.

When the day gives way to nighttime,
Though no light may reach our eyes,
Still, elsewhere in the world, it's daylight:
And in time our sun will rise.

Though we may not feel God with us,
Though our hope and faith grow dim,
He will guide us still in our journey,
When our hearts are fixed on Him.

Though this world may seek to lure us
With those things our eyes can see,
May the eyes of our hearts look farther,
To the one true life to be.

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