“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23
In the deepest part of winter as you step out into the morning, it seems as though the last part of the evening lingers for a while. At around 6:30, as many people make their morning commute, the moon and the dark sky seem to indicate that it is still night. However, by faith we accept that it is truly a new day, even when all the signs around us seem to say that it is still night. A Michigan winter trains everyone who endures it to go against their natural instinct. We no longer rely on light or dark, as we can go days and even weeks without seeing the sun. It is by faith that we carry on each day without any hint of morning. This is practical faith.
Getting out of bed and going to work become so ingrained that no deception of nature can throw them off course. In fact, you will often see people struggling through deep snow and dangerous ice patches in order to “bring home the bacon”. There is still a drive in the motor city to keep the lights on. If you have been able to speak to anyone who works at one of the Big 3 (Ford, Chrysler and General Motors) you will find out how much it takes to keep moving forward when there is no sign of relief. Just as these same brave folks will face a morning without sunlight, they have faced an industry filled with turmoil and fear. Some have even remarked that those who did not make it through the multiple rounds of layoffs and firings were actually relieved. They felt like a great weight was lifted because they no longer had to worry about losing their job. They had lived through that which they feared most.
Physically, winter seems to last three to four months in Detroit. Spiritually, well, it has been a lot longer than that. There are still many who get out of bed and face another day that feels like a continuous night. And yet, by faith there are still those who believe that the sun will rise. This hope reflects another beautiful truth about our Christian faith. Jesus faced the darkest night in all of history. He found Himself alone in the garden of Gethsemane, praying in distress to God. The disciples, Jesus’ closest friends, had fallen asleep multiple times leaving Him alone with His anguish. It was in this dark night that the Son of God felt the stab of His humanity deeply. Being fully God and fully man, He knew that for the first time, He would be separated from God. That was His final burden to bear. Jesus had already known hunger and poverty. He knew what it was to be betrayed and abandoned, even by His own family. Jesus would face being disgraced, abused, and finally being killed. And yet, it seemed to be that it was the separation from His Father that was hardest for Him to bear. Remember, on the cross He still plead for us to be forgiven even as He was dying, but it was in feeling the distance from God that He felt forsaken. Through that act Jesus lived through every torment that we face on earth. However, He felt last what we know the minute we are born. We are born separated from God because of sin.
Those who have made it through multiple Detroit winters know one thing for certain, the sun will eventually rise again. It will chase away the gloom and darkness and bring new life to the sleeping landscape. For those who know Christ, we know that the Son has also risen. The darkest night could not hold back the dawn of salvation for all who believe. And for many in southeast Michigan, they too believe that the sun will rise again on our spirits. We face a winter of the soul, and it seems sometimes that there is no sign of spring. And, even as the picture above shows, just because it is morning does not mean that the night has completely disappeared. There is always a slow transition from the dark of winter. Remember, Jesus was gone three days before He resurrected. It is likely that the disciples felt as though they waited a lifetime to see Him as the risen Lord.
The point of all this is simple: If we understand that the presence of the moon does not mean that morning has not come, we need to understand by faith that the dark times in our lives do not mean that God is not good. The greatest blessings we will ever know will be those that we find in our darkest times. If there was no night, there would be no need for the sun. And, if there was no despair, we would not need the Son. May we all be blessed to see Him in our darkest times.
Thanks to all of you who have stopped by this week. Take a look back to Wednesday if you get the opportunity. www.aerochug.com/examiner/x-20894-Detroit-Methodist-Examiner~y2010m1d20-We-are-the-city Enjoy your weekend and be blessed. Please tune in again on Monday as we continue to share in this great gift called life. Until then, God bless and keep reading!