Pray that this will not take place in winter . . . Mark 13:18 NIV
Dr. Seuss is the best: “How did it get so late so soon? It’s night before it’s afternoon. December is here before it’s June. My goodness how the time has flown. How did it get so late so soon?”
We in the northern hemisphere celebrate the coming of God’s Son only days after the year’s deepest darkness has settled in. Easter morning, on the other hand, arrives on the heels of spring, during that time when dawn appears earlier each day and the natural world is beginning to respond to the nudges of warmth and light.
The first day of winter is much more likely to pass unnoticed than the first day of spring. We’re immersed in planning for, or are already enjoying, Christmas festivities. We may consider the beginning of winter to be palatable because of nostalgic holiday associations. The snow of December is less likely to be yellowed or dirt-tinged, more apt (so we think) to be fluffy and picturesque and conducive to celebration.
Darkness is hard on people. For many in cold, bleak climates, depression settles in during those long months with their dearth of light. The proximity of Grand Rapids to Lake Michigan produces dank air and gloomy skies. It isn’t uncommon for us to move through weeks seeing the barest fraction of “possible sunlight.” Our spirits are noticeably lifted on those rare crisp and cloudless days.
Jesus warned His disciples of things to come. He tried to prepare them for the trials and testing they would experience in His name. But even within the darkness He knew would come, He offered promise. Jesus’ coming occurred in the dark—of night and of sin. In early traces of coming grace, God punctuated that darkness by an angel choir and an unusually bright star. But Easter Sunday will dawn in the effulgent glory of sunrise—the full light of salvation.
Invite the Light to penetrate and permeate your January, February, and March.
Donna L. Huisjen is a former editor in the Bible Department of Zondervan Publishing House, For several years she has enjoyed full-time writing and freelance editing, along with various volunteer activities. Several of Huisjen’s published works are available on Amazon, and her devotions, articles, puzzles, stories, and poems have appeared in numerous periodicals. The single adoptive mother of three now-grown daughters, she makes her home near Grand Rapids, Michigan.