here are dark days and then there are dark months. Earlier this month, reports came out about an exceptionally oppressive month in Moscow. The Russian capital experienced just six minutes of sunshine in December, setting a record for cloudiness in the city of 12 million. Normally, the city has 18 hours of sunshine for the month, but these six short minutes completely blew away the norms.
Being a Wyoming guy, I start to whine when we have a couple days without sunshine; one of the things I love about this area is the plentiful sunshine. I can’t imagine a solid month with such gloomy weather.
I live on a hill and I can see our rare fog roll in and out of Sheridan. When it is foggy at my house I assume that it is foggy everywhere around because that is what I am experiencing at that moment. When the fog burns off I am then able to see that I was probably wrong in my assumptions.
The sun may be shining brightly on the Bighorns. Parts of the city may be blanketed in fog and other parts may be basking in sunshine. Our perspective of weather is relative to our current, personal experiences. All we know is the weather just where we are.
Perhaps our views of the storms in life are much the same. I vividly remember driving on Interstate 25 in a snow storm so intense that I was losing my way between reflector posts — life storms can be like that too. When darkness surrounds me, I frequently lose sight of my path. When I am in a struggle without the warmth of the sun, I am likely to assume that there is no hope at all. Additionally, I tend to project my angst to every situation and every person around me. I too quickly lose my way.
If you are losing sight of the path, remember the promise found in Psalm 119:105. “Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.” One step at a time, one day at a time, God promises to guide you with his light.
Thinking of the six short minutes of sunshine in Moscow, I wondered what those moments must have been like. Would I have smiled in hope that the summer sunshine would return? Would I have scoffed with the reality that more clouds would be rolling in? Would I have noticed the brief rays of sunshine at all?
I suppose that we may have similar responses to the light of Christ. How will we respond to that light? Will we have hope, will we scoff at the light or will we notice at all? Jesus said in John 8:12, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.”
All I need is a single ray of sunshine to remind me of God’s goodness and kindness. The fog might be covering me up, but the sun and son are still shining. Will I be consumed in the darkness? I don’t know. However, I do know this: Christ is the light of the world.
And there is more. That light is in you. You are a city on a hill, a light that cannot be hidden.
The Apostle Paul reminded the church in Ephesus and he reminds us today of who we are and what that light has done in us. Ephesians 5:2, 8 says, “Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. For once you were full of darkness, but now you have the light from the Lord. So live as people of the light!”
Cody Haar is a pastor with Cornerstone Church in Sheridan.