Sunny, southern California isn’t supposed to be like this. Especially not on Memorial Day weekend. You’d expect it to be bright and blissful and beautiful, abuzz with energy and life, but that’s not happening today. The clouds hang low, the sun is nowhere to be found and the temperature is hovering at 60! The natives are wrapped up at home complaining about the cold wondering where the warmth went.
As Christians, we often have the same reaction. We think life is always supposed to be bright and beautiful. Our paths should remain straight, happy and surrounded by fields of sweet smelling flowers. Yet, just because we have God on our side doesn’t mean we won’t face days like today – dreary, dismal and draining.
Most times I give into the day’s drabness forcing my countenance into a nose dive. But today, I see beauty despite the absence of the sun. That’s because I feel close to God today; He holds on to me with strength that is beyond my comprehension, telling me “Precious child, I’m still here. No matter if the sun leaves, I’ll still be here with you.”
But there are other days…ones where I don’t feel so near to God and try to muscle through life on my own terms. Or worse yet, times when the clouds hang around for days, weeks, even years. Then, in the midst of the dreariness, I wonder “Where have you gone God? Why is life this constant struggle? The burdens are too heavy for me to carry and it feels like you’ve left me.”
I’m sure the irony is not lost on God because He never leaves me; His blessings are even more abundant during my struggles. For wrapped up in the drama, God does something amazing. He reveals Himself in a way that isn’t possible during smooth sailing. He chips away at my defenses and reveals Himself – His holiness, His strength, His wisdom, His love, His grace. The ability to hold tightly to the everlasting God, to understand as God uncovers more of Himself to me undergirds the days when getting out of bed seems like a chore.
In my selfishness, I want to know God in the sun. I want to run to God amongst those fields of sweet smelling flowers, to have Him hold me, to speak tender thoughts to me. On cloudy days, my fear rushes up and I’m immobile – like the clouds unable to give way to the brightness of the sun.
And that’s when I need to remind myself – God wins.
All this fear, all this darkness, all the loss in the world, it doesn’t win. It doesn’t last forever. In the end, God wins.
Today, as the sun desperately tries to peak out from behind the clouds, the rays remind me my life is not for this earth. It lives here and thrives here and often times hurts here, but ultimately its resting place is beyond here. And that gives me confidence to face the next storm for I am never facing them alone. Better yet, I am on the side that wins.
Life’s battles are less frightening when God displays His power through them, as He slowly reveals His love to me. I need to embrace the gray days and God right along with them. Only in our amazing God do I find the strength to overcome my challenges with the abundance of God’s love.
Because, in the end, God wins!