I was watching the dawn this morning as I drove along the motorway and there were some amazing orange and deep red colours. I couldn’t stop to take pictures, much as I would have wanted to pull over to catch the moment. The colours just before sunrise are sometimes more stunning and vibrant than when the first part of the sun breaks the horizon. As I travelled further a sudden dark cloud of fog enclosed around the cars on the motorway. By the time the journey was ended the was no hope of seeing any sunlight for that morning.
The weeks and days through christmas can seem joyous and warm with everyone in vibrant mood, but as soon as the lights and decorations go down we are left with what might feel like a dark, colourless and cold world. We can often feel a low after Christmas and find it hard to get back into the swing of things, perhaps this is more because there seems to be a bigger emphasis on presents and cards and all the usual traditional things that have been added on over the years, rather than on worship and prayer.
I thought of the passage from Isaiah this morning which talks about Israel being a light to the gentiles, how Jesus came to the Jews first but later he went out to the gentiles.
Indeed He says,
‘It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant
To raise up the tribes of Jacob,
And to restore the preserved ones of Israel;
I will also give You as a light to the Gentiles,
That You should be My salvation to the ends of the earth.’”
We are called to be a light in the darkness, to be a beacon for people who are finding life hard, or just plain down. I sometimes find that i feel low in my day or feeling like there is no energy left to finish a job, but when I do I also usually find that my prayer for that day has been lacking. Do we worry about everything that we have to do in the day or do we first spend some quality time with God committing our day to Him. I have to admit that sometimes I have felt that there is too much to do to commit any time to praying but those days are the times I most need to spend time with the Lord. Prayer seems to help to make things run smoothly and seems to provide opportunities that just seem to pop out of no where. Opportunities that could not normally happen in my day through my own efforts.
When things are darkest faithful servants to the Lord stand strongest. These are the times we have been trained to live for. It is easy to say, living in relative luxury and having no real concerns compared to others. Why has God blessed me in such a way, I certainly haven’t earnt it. I feel ashamed when I read stories of Christians abroad that are persecuted for their faith.
I also have hope, just like the sunset provided a colourful and warming end to the day so should our hope for the Grace of God through Jesus Christ who does not abandon any, but saves all.
39 And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.
And so as the dark fog descends upon us in the morning, let us spare a prayer for our brothers and sisters who have an evil cloud descending upon them, tonight I pray for all who are in peril and are facing real tests of faith. May Christ give them courage to win their final test.