John and I sat in our backyard, watching the clouds roll through with the incoming storm. The sun peeked through occasionally as if it was playing hide and seek. As dark as the clouds were, the sun was insistent. It would not be blocked.
With Christmas behind us and the New Year looming, it was easy to segue into a conversation about the year that was about to wrap up. A year filled with both good and bad, what I chose to focus on determined whether I saw the light or the dark.
There was a lot of both.
Looking at tragedies worldwide, it’s hard not to recognize the harshness of our planet. Politics for power instead of the people, terrorism taking lives, people dying from starvation, poor living conditions, and natural disasters, human trafficking. People question who the real enemy is.
Our country. Everyone feels entitled to do things the way they think it should be done. Absolute truth has gone out the window; right and wrong have become relative, shaped by personal opinion rather than truth.
On a personal level, I had people close to me die, family situations that have presented ongoing challenges that have me stumped, and constant feelings of inadequacy and incompetence that hang on my heart and lie to my soul. I have grands who have suffered medical issues that have been unending. Disappointments that always seem present.
The bad will be there. Brokenness breeds pain. At all levels.
But the Light. There is always the Light. Globally, people are reaching out to help those in need in new and creative ways. Choosing personal sacrifice over convenience. Help happens because people choose right over wrong, truth over injustice.
In our country, people are embracing different in a way that doesn’t always demand entitlement. People are being cared for, in spite of the fact that the media only trumpets the harsh and not the hope.
Personally, I’ve had friends who’ve birthed long-awaited children, our daughter got married to the man of her dreams. John and I have had the chance to engage people in their hurts and help them, listening, offering whatever we could, valuing them with being present. We’ve experienced true joy in our family because we’re family.
The dark cannot block the Light. Not even in the darkest of days.
It’s easy to be overwhelmed by things that don’t go the way I’d like them to. That’s the reality of life.
He is good, all the time. With selfishness driving people continually, disappointment and despair ever-present, there’s no reason for us to think there’d be any good at all.
His goodness covers our world. It rains on those who are good and not so good. The sun shines on those who choose right and those who don’t. There will always be bad things that happen to good people and vice versa.
He hears us. He listens to the pleas of hurting hearts. And He often uses bad things to bring good results.
In this coming year, the coming decade, choose to focus on His Light. His promises. His presence.
He offers Light in the midst of the greatest of darkness.