December in Brussels averages only a little more than one hour of cloudless sunlight per day. The days are short and heavy clouds rule the sky most of the time. Many people emotionally suffer from the lack of sunlight during this time of the year. Doctors have a name for this condition, they call it SAD—Seasonal Affective Disorder.
Veiled Light and Stormy Skies
Though I had heard about SAD, I never took it seriously until I experienced such deprivation myself. Eventually, after months of such weather, the clouds finally parted and the sun broke through the gray. Every year, I never cease to be amazed at the profound sense of peace and joy I feel from such long awaited light.
In a similar way, when we’ve walked through intense and prolonged seasons of emotional distress, sometimes God’s loving presence can feel totally absent. And just like with Belgian winters, so too with the weather of the heart—there’s no underestimating the impact a single ray of light can make in the dark night of one’s soul.
Yet, the sobering reality is that we have no control over the weather, be it in the sky above or our soul within. As with the waves of the sea, so can it seem we are doomed to rise or fall based on the circumstances surrounding our lives. But such simply isn’t so. True, we can’t change the weather . . . but we don’t have to. Because, what matters most is not the reality of our storm but the focal point of our faith.
We are not Powerless
Peter learned this lesson the hard way when Jesus called him to step out of his boat and face his fears. Somehow, as long as Peter’s vision was focused on Christ, he did what seemed humanly impossible—he walked on water (Matthew 14:29-30)! For many of us, to no longer live at the mercy of our fears and insecurities would seem no less a miracle as well.
Yes, the ebb and flow is a fact of life . . . but our raft we choose by how we respond to the challenges we face. So, when the stresses of family, work, finances, and friends bear heavy upon us we must not stand still. No, we step out towards Christ in prayer, we refocus our vision in worship, and we gain wisdom in silent stillness. Through such faith-filled action we literally collaborate with the grace of God. Next week we look at how such a surrendered faith actually reshapes our sense of satisfaction and need.
What Do You Think?
What does the weather of your heart look like? What might “walking on the water” towards Christ look like in your circumstances?
To see the poem this post is based on, click here.