We’re deep in the heart of winter where I live and the snow is piled in mounds several feet deep. The darkest day of the year is behind us, but still the sun sets early and the subsequent onset of darkness can leave us wishing for summer days.
And yet, this morning as I sat at the counter with my children drinking my Postum and eating a slice of pumpkin bread, the sun peeked its bright face through a nearby window at just the right angle to throw its rays across my face and warm me from head to toe.
I started to think about light and darkness and how no matter the trials we are facing or the winter we are experiencing in our physical surroundings or our inner souls, our ability to see the light changes everything. It made me remember a story I read a few years ago from Joseph B. Wirthlin. He said:
A few years ago, I began to notice that things around me were beginning to darken. It troubled me because simple things like reading the print in my scriptures were becoming more difficult. I wondered what had happened to the quality of the lightbulbs and wondered why manufacturers today couldn’t make things like they had in years past.
I replaced the bulbs with brighter ones. They, too, became dim. I blamed the poor design of the lamps and bulbs. I even questioned whether the brightness of the sun was fading before the thought occurred to me that the problem might not be with the amount of light in the room—the problem might be with my own eyes.
Shortly thereafter, I went to an ophthalmologist who assured me that the world was not going dark at all. A cataract on my eye was the reason the light seemed to be fading. This certainly gives you my age. I placed my faith in the capable hands of this trained specialist, the cataract was removed, and behold, light again flooded my life! The light had never diminished; only my capacity to see the light had been lessened.
This taught me a profound truth. Often when the world seems dark, when the heavens seem distant, we seek to blame everything around us, when the real cause of the darkness may be a lack of faith within ourselves.
Sometimes the world appears dark. Sometimes our faith is tried. Sometimes we feel that the heavens are closed against us. Yet we should not despair. We should never abandon our faith. We should not lose hope.
Be of good cheer. Have faith and confidence. The Lord will not forsake you.”Joseph B. Wirthlin
I think faith deems how we look at the world. If our faith in Jesus Christ is strong enough to completely trust in Him and accept His will, knowing that He knows what’s best for us, then there will always be sunshine in our lives–even if at times it is only a golden edge framing our clouds.
The winter may not end any time soon, the darkness may encroach on our evenings or on our hearts, but if we choose, we can become seekers of light, finders of light, and gatherers of light. Even if it only peeks through our window for a short moment, or even if it can only be snatched in precious pocketfuls, this heaven-sent light will sustain us through the dark times. It testifies of God’s love for us, it fills us with His spirit and His glory, and it promises that darkness will not have lasting victory–that light will always overcome.
May you lift your gaze from the darkness that can shroud, deceive, or discourage, and set your sights upon the light.
Featured image from amomentwithchrist.com