While I love many things about Indiana winters, I don't enjoy the often-long strings of gray, dreary, gloomy, cloudy days.
The cold doesn't bother me. I adore snow. I relish the long cozy evenings snuggled by the fireplace with nothing more pressing than a good book to read.
But after several days of not seeing its glorious rays, I begin to wonder (even though I know better) if the sun is still up there.
And then, just when I need it most, that beautiful star begins radiating through the early morning fog.
Oh, how that marvelous bright sunrise brightens my mood instantly!
Indeed, the sun WAS still there.
My mind knows that, of course. But sometimes my heart just has to feel it again.
I have a long-time pastor friend from another part of the state who is going through an unimaginably painful, heart-wrenching family crisis right now. Tom is a man of strong, unshakable faith and amazing courage who walks with God daily. But Tom very honestly shared with me that God doesn't feel close right now. He hasn't seemed to have shown up in this situation yet.
That is the key word.
In his great wisdom and remembering the countless times and unexpected ways God has "shown up" in the past, Tom likened it to the dark winter days when the sun is hidden from our sight. We know it's still there, but we can't see it. God seems to be like that too, at times...we KNOW He's there, yet sometimes we can't see Him.
But we know, we've seen it happen countless times before.
One day just when we think things can't get any drearier, He will show up in a most unexpected and magnificent way!
It's what God does best...surprise us and take our breath away with his awesomeness!
Tom is hanging onto that promise right now. God will come through, in His perfect timing and with the perfect solution.
I've been there too. We all have. God seems distant, far-off, apparently busy with something more important than our measly life. But just like the Indiana January sun, He's still there, completely aware of every aspect of whatever struggle we are having, quietly and invisibly working behind the scenes for the good of those who love Him.
Just like the January sun, its Creator will burst through the darkness at just the perfect time. And we appreciate them both even more when they've been quietly hidden for awhile.
When the days are dark and the light at the end of the tunnel is only a pinprick or perhaps not even visible at all.
Makes my heart sing with the knowledge that even though we may not see them all the time...
...they're still there.