Is Your Season Missing the Light?
The full Light of Christmas is now with us as we make our way in the dark days of winter.Â This hope of Light isÂ how we keep moving forward through the seasons of life. We must however keep the light rays strong for best health.
The weak and lackingÂ light of the sunÂ this past week in my area of the world is certainly notable. The skies remained filled with clouds for the most part. I generally like almost all-weather even the clouds but certainly recognize the joy that abounds after an extended absence of the wonderful warmth of the light that comes from the sun.
It is always amazing to me on cold winter days how much warmth the light from the sun actually produces. The temperature may not drastically change yet somehow the beams of radiant light on my face can instantlyÂ alter my perception from thinking how cold it is to how good the sun feels. Often, as with life, how we view things will affect our attitude and emotions.
Sometimes we allow the rushing world we live in, to dictate how and when we should accomplish our life lists. When we allow the world to mandate how we should live our lives or even conductÂ our celebrations it can create an off-balance in our perceptions. For exampleÂ a lot ofÂ peopleÂ skipped over Advent andÂ rushed immediately into theirÂ Christmastide celebrations manyÂ coinciding withÂ the ThanksgivingÂ holiday. This is mostly due to the pressures of the marketing systems in place declaringÂ to us on how we need to live. These pressured personsÂ may now experience a sudden void in their life at this time of yearÂ because their celebration has suddenly ended and moved into a different marketing system.Â The end of what they perceived as the season of joy with the lack of real lightÂ can have a variety of effects on different people. This letdown coupled with the often darkness of the winter months can leave many feeling as if they have been left without the hope of Light.
There areÂ some people who sufferÂ letdownsÂ this time of year, no matter what type of celebrations they may hold, from a condition called Seasonal Defective Disorder or SAD. It is a type of depressive disorder that often occurs during the changing of the season and it is typically more associated with winter than the other seasons. I read an article earlier this week that discussed the disorder mentioning different symptoms and ways to combat the disorder. It appears that the disorder has a strong connection to the lack of light this time of year mostly the lack of light offered by the sun.
The number one suggestion for correction of the disorder is – light therapy. I could certainly understand this as I know how good the light makes me feel when it beams down upon me on a cold winter’s day, or the refreshing way it streaks through my window in the studio early in the morning, or even the comfort it provides internally knowing that it is always there even when I do not see it. The article went on to mention three winter survival tips to try if youÂ feel your moodÂ affected by low light.
- Let the sun shine in. Allow the sun to shine into your windows by opening the blinds or drapes for as long as it is light outside.
- Move into the cold. Put on a coat and brave the weather by taking a walk at lunch or find a sunny place to sit inÂ for as long as you can.
- A good workout with lots of exercise. Exercising relieves stress,Â anxiety, and makes you feel better.
The article suggests that if these things do not work then seeing your doctor is of course the next choice and he or sheÂ may suggest light therapy as a course of action among other treatments.
AsÂ I thought about how the missingÂ absence of light affects people I realized that spiritually, the misplacedÂ absence of Light canÂ strongly affect people too. The festive celebrationÂ of Christmas is truly the honored celebration of theÂ Light of God. Written throughout theÂ Old Testament as great promises from God, the Light comes to fruition with the birth of Christ. Isaiah shouts the promise that the glory of the Lord rises to shine on us even thoughÂ darkness is all around us.Â (Isaiah 60: 1-2)The hope arrives in the form of lightÂ with the grandÂ radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounding shepherds and special stars that appear in the sky guiding wise men to the one that fills them with joy. We too, thousands of years later, still treasure the Light of that night and look forward to the Light that will come in the end. Our focus verse this week is about the Light sent from God and is found in John 12:46.
I have come as Light into the world, so that everyone who believes in Me will not remain in darkness. (NASB)
Finding the Light in All Seasons
What comfort the knowledge of hope providesÂ discerning that through the belief of Jesus Christ weÂ connect directly to the Light. The darkness that oftenÂ surrounds us here on earthÂ pierces through with the strong Light of God. He has lovingly provided for us even though we do not deserve the gift of Light He freely gives.
There isÂ a story that illustrates what a comfort we can find when the one we trust is with us no matter what we may face.
The afternoon was moving to evening asÂ Papa walked into the family room to find his only grandson, Joey, standing up in his playpen, crying. The child looked so pitiful, standing there clutchingÂ the side of the rail in his little football shirt and diaper clad bottom. His normally pinkÂ face is now red andÂ streaked with stained tearsÂ from his crying.
When Joey saw his Papa, his face lit up in a way that stole the old man’s heart. He immediately reachedÂ up his cubby hands crying out, “Out Papa, Out”! There was no way that Papa could resist such a plea and so he walked to the playpen and reached down to lift his small companion out of captivity and obvious distress however in the mist of leaning down in walked, Law and Order.
Joey’s mother walked out of the kitchen with a dish towelÂ and into the family room speaking very sternly, “No Joey!Â This is your punishment.Â You are in timeout!” Mother then turned to Papa and said, “Leave him right there, Dad.”
Papa hesitated and struggled with his decision. His grandson’s tears and little hands reaching out tugged greatly at his heart but he didn’t want to interfere with Joey’s mother’s discipline either. He knew he couldn’t stay in the same room with the boy and just read his newspaper pretending that he didn’t care nor could he just walk out and leave his grandson in abandonment. What could he possibly do?
Suddenly an idea formed from the love he had for both people. Since Papa couldn’t take Joey out of the playpen, he climbed in with him. “If you’re in the playpen, buddy, well then so am I. What did you do and how long are you in for”, he asked?
Joey suddenly found a big, jolly, and loving Papa filling his little prison cell and he was able to find comfort even in his captivity.
So what is the antidote for the darkness? If it is Light that we need to combat the darkness we may face, how do we find it? There are three ways we can find the Light that we need and keep it shining on us.
- Believe and Trust in the Light of God. The promises of God are graciously and undeservingly given to us through Jesus. He is the only Light that leads to life!Â (John 8:12)
- Move into the warmth of the Light. While we remain on earth we always have the Light of God with us in the form of the Holy Spirit if we ask. The hope of what will be propels us forward with the blessed assurance of comfortÂ we need. (John 9:5)
- Dedicated focus, builds relationships. A good way to dedicate our lives to God is to set aside a dailyÂ period to spend time with Him through scripture, prayer, and praise.
The Light is here for us to depend upon. The Light has always been here as David exclaims in Psalms 23:4. The Light protects us even when we are in the darkest of times guiding us with comfort. The sending of Jesus to earth over two thousand years ago however now provides the Light for all who wants the same protection and comfort.
So if you feel the effects of an after Christmas let down then I highly recommend some “Light therapy” too.
- Let the sun shine of God in. Allow the Light of God to surround you all the time no matter theÂ hour of day.
- Move into the cold; depend upon the Light of God to provide warmth. Despite what circumstances you may face know with full faith that you can weather the cold dark world. The Holy Spirit will crawl into the playpen of life with us through the promises of the Light of Jesus Christ if we simply cry out.
- A good workout with lots ofÂ exercise develops the strength connection between the Light and you. Exercise your faith with the strength trainingÂ of a dedicated time spent with God every day basking in His Light. Don’t fit God into your schedule fit yourself into God’s schedule.
Have a great week and ring in the New year with the Light of God shining down on you.
Love in Christ,
The invisible Light clearly shows us our surroundings allowing belief in whatÂ we cannot see because of the faith in knowing what is really there.
We believe that the sun is in the sky at midday in summer not because we can clearly see the sun (in fact we cannot) but because we can see everything else. C.S. Lewis
What are Your Thoughts about the Light that God provides for us? Do you find yourself feeling like you are in the dark alone? Have you learned to trust God and believe in His promises of eternal Light? Join Us in Discussion on the topic of God’s Light or other related topics.