The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.~John 1:5 ESV
DETERMINING MY FOCUS
The weather report revealed snow actively falling, which sent me bounding across the hardwood floors to peer outside. The shift in my focus to the streetlight helped me see wisps of powder circling in the air.
My soul quieted as the fluffy flakes fell. I wanted to perch by the window and wonder at the glory showering down from heaven. Snow is so rare in the South that when it comes, I don’t want to miss it. At first, I could not see it. The darkness obscured its beauty.
As I stood at the door and peered out, I realized that one would not even know it was snowing without gazing up at the outside lights. To see the snow, I had to look past the darkness and into the light. There was beauty in the darkness, but I could not see it without searching for its presence in the light.
SPIRITUAL FOCUS–GOD IS GOOD, ALWAYS
This is the way it is in the dark times of life. We can become so consumed with the pain, heartbreak, and struggle that we cannot see any goodness. We lose our focus and drift into despair.
When I walked through a dark season of grief after my father went to his heavenly home, I searched for goodness amid the pain and constantly reminded myself that God is good. Remembering my search in the darkness to find the gift of snow reminded me that looking at the light of Jesus in a dark world provides an unexplainable blessing. But God’s grace sufficiently meets my every need.
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.~ 2 Corinthians 12:9 ESV
DETERMINE YOUR FOCUS
How do we find goodness when all around us seems dark? I’m still learning this lesson. Just as I had to be intentional at finding the snow, I must intentionally discover goodness in difficult seasons.
I have, however, learned some things. I must consciously shift my focus. When I’m hyper-focused on calamity, I skew my vision, and I can only see an all-consuming loss. This is where my heartbeat quickens, my thoughts race, my head aches, and my nerve endings tingle. My body, soul, and mind are in a state of unrest.
Then, after shifting my focus to the light of God’s truth and blessings, I take stock of the beauty that remains. This shifting brings peace and rest, just as peering into the falling snow quieted my soul.
The goodness that remains brings peace that my father is at perfect rest from his long and difficult suffering. I am thankful for the love he gave me and, most of all, for introducing me to Christ–the lover of my soul.
FIND BEAUTY, DESPITE THE STRUGGLE
When we struggle in the darkness, we can find beauty. It may entail remembering the last trial God brought us through that, at the time, seemed impossible. It may be something smaller, like having the necessary food to prepare a meal. Whether big or small, we can recognize it, gaze upon its beauty, and thank God for it. And when we can’t see the beauty around us because of the darkness, remember there is always light and hope in the Word of God and in Christ Himself.
How has God carried you in the dark seasons of your life?
Father God, thank You for staying close to me in the dark times. Please remind me that Your light is always present, and darkness cannot dispel it. Light up my heart with Your hope and help me see the beauty that remains. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Copyright 2023: The Shift: Rosann Coulon: All Rights Reserved