I’m writing this on Feb. 14. Happy Valentine’s Day! When you read this, you will be enjoying more than 2 hours more sunshine than I will be seeing today. Jump ahead a week from this day, Friday the 17th, and we’ll have gained another 39 minutes between sunrise and sunset with more coming each day.
Now here’s the question. Is it enough for you? The darkness can be rough. But every day since December 21 we have been getting more sunlight. Has it been enough for you to notice? Is the extra sunshine and the promise of more to come enough to allow you to make it through the winter?
Probably, otherwise you could choose to live somewhere else. But that doesn’t make the darkness easy.
And consider the rest of life. We don’t just live in the darkness of winter. Our day and age contains its share of darkness. The innocent are gunned down as they go about their daily business. There is unrest politically and we divide over our ideals. News of war and rumors of war reach our ears.
Yet still the light shines. Look around you and take note. People give and forgive. Divisions are healed. Families are restored.
Here’s an older story I just came across in the CBS news of Dec. 12, 2013. It’s one worth remembering. The story is about Terri Roberts, the mother of a shooter who went into an Amish school in October of 2006 and shot 10 girls, killing 5 before killing himself. The mother was horrified when she heard the news and knew immediately that she would have to move. Instead, that very night, she was visited by people of the community letting her know that they wanted her to stay. Some families of the victims even attended the shooter’s funeral.
Listen to Mrs. Roberts. “For the mother and father who had lost not just one but two daughters at the hand of our son, to come up and be the first ones to greet us – wow. Is there anything in this life that we should not forgive?”
And she offers this advice for the families of the shooting victims which I offer up as great encouragement to all who wrestle with darkness. “There is always hope. To walk into the future knowing each day has something that we can be thankful for, and not live in the sorrow 24-7. Ask God to provide new things in your lives, new things to focus on. That doesn’t take the place of what is lost. But it can give us hope and a future.”
Hope and a future! The darkness cannot destroy them. Nor can it destroy the human heart lit by the light of forgiveness and by God himself.
We can look at the darkness and give up and conclude there is no God. Or we can look at the light and see God’s hand at work in our lives and we can hope. As I asked at the beginning, is there enough light for you?
Rick Cupp is Minister of the Kenai Fellowship. Call 283-7682. Sunday Bible classes are at 10:00 a.m., Coffee at 10:45, and worship at 11:15. Wednesday meal is at 6:15 p.m., worship and Bible classes at 7:00.