Evening passed, and morning came. This was the third day.
Then God said, “Let there be lights in the sky to separate day from night. These lights will be used for signs, seasons, days, and years.They will be in the sky to give light to the earth.” And it happened. Genesis 1:13-15
While we each experience seasons differently because of where we live, consider the four seasons of the year. What’s your favorite and why?
According to Genesis, seasons are inextricably linked with the lights that separate the night from the day. Isn’t that what often seems to separate our spiritual seasons as well? Consider it from an experiential perspective. Winter is seen as the most depressing and depraved season. There’s a lack of direct sunlight as well as less sunlit hours through the day. Our spiritual winters feel dark. The clouds seem oppressive. The damp cold chills us. We long for direct sunlight to part the skies and shine directly on us for warmth and refreshment. Knowing the depressing effects of shortened days and lengthened darkness through the winter months, some people opt for light therapy or strategic vacations to help them sustain a balance of mental and emotional health.
On the other hand, summer’s extended daylight hours and direct sunshine invite us into increased energy and opportunities to stay active through outside work and play. Bleakness is shoved aside by illumination. Chill is blown away by breezes warmed by sunlight. We fully experience life, taking our hats off to feel the sun’s warmth and digging our bare toes into soft grass and sparkling sand.
We’ll dig more into the specifics of winter and summer as we continue our Pure Growth study series, but consider for a moment the importance of balancing the extremes of our experiences of spiritual seasons.
How would you experience a spiritual winter without the experience of the summer or a spiritual summer without the context of the winter?
Just as we long for light through the natural season of winter, we also long for light during the spiritual winters of our lives. We don’t have to trust artificial lights for our strength. We can seek God’s light in the middle of our consuming darkness. We can seek God’s light in our slightly damp and overcast moments. We can seek God’s light anytime. When our lives are well lit and things are going well, we often won’t intentionally seek God’s light. We can become accustomed to finding our way on our own or along the same paths God has previously guided us. We can become lackadaisical and unappreciative of the warmth and brightness of God’s light. When our lives aren’t well lit, we can curl under the comfort of a cozy blanket and feed ourselves comfort food, allowing the time to slip away. As we settle into comfort, we let our spiritual – and physical – fitness slip away. We forget or ignore we have a choice to find light in the darkness. Light is available.
How do the following verses speak to you?
God’s lamp shined on my head, and I walked through darkness by his light. Job 29:3
Lord, you give light to my lamp. My God brightens the darkness around me. Psalm 18:28
The Lord is my light and the one who saves me. So why should I fear anyone? The Lord protects my life. So why should I be afraid? Psalm 27:1
The sun will no longer be your light during the day nor will the brightness from the moon be your light, because the Lord will be your light forever, and your God will be your glory. Isaiah 60:19
Here is the message we have heard from Christ and now announce to you: God is light, and in him there is no darkness at all. So if we say we have fellowship with God, but we continue living in darkness, we are liars and do not follow the truth. But if we live in the light, as God is in the light, we can share fellowship with each other. Then the blood of Jesus, God’s Son, cleanses us from every sin. 1 John 1:5-7
Let’s take a look at several of the first mentions of light in Scripture.
Then God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, so he divided the light from the darkness. God named the light “day” and the darkness “night.” Evening passed, and morning came. This was the first day. Then God said, “Let there be lights in the sky to separate day from night. These lights will be used for signs, seasons, days, and years. They will be in the sky to give light to the earth. And it happened. So God made the two large lights. He made the brighter light to rule the day and made the smaller light to rule the night. He also made the stars. God put all these in the sky to shine on the earth, to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. God saw that all these things were good. Genesis 1:3-5, 14-18
The light was called day. All night was dark until God gave it its own light: the moon. The truth is the moon is not a light source on its own. I was reminded of the intricacies of God’s lighting system on an early morning drive.
While the sun rises and sets every day, I take it for granted. I’ve seen breathtaking sunrises and sunsets, and I imagine you have, too. It’s easy to say “yeah, another beautiful sunrise…breathtaking in the moment, but soon forgotten.”
Not this one. I hope to never forget this sunrise – just like I hope to never forget the sunset I witnessed on a flight from the West Coast several years ago. They share something – a stunning, stark transition from dark to light, or light to dark.
When you think of transitions in your life from dark to light, or light to dark, what comes to mind? I’m not referring to literal sunrises and sunsets. What about the figurative sunrises and sunsets, when you’ve experienced an overwhelming oppression of darkness or an intense illumination with light?
Continue to let God remind you of the spiritual sunrises and sunsets of your life throughout the day. I’ll share more of my experience tomorrow.