I didn’t need the calendar to tell me. Nor did I need to look outside at 7:00 am to see that it was still dark. No, it was my daylight soul and Vitamin D deprived spirit that screamed the message loud and clear: We’re approaching the shortest day of the year! The winter solstice is at hand!
As I contemplated these facts this past December, I couldn’t help but remember the long days of June. No, in June I don’t have these problems. As the Summer solstice approaches and with it, the long, Canadian days, I just can’t seem to get enough of the Canadian sunshine!
Interestingly, it is in the darkest times of my life that literal days seem the longest…. Take the time I was waiting for cancer surgery, for example. I’m sure time stopped, because that 2 hour and 45 minute wait was at least 3 days long! And, I have to admit, the reverse is also true: The rare times I get to see my Western Canada kids (It’s a 5000 km drive…. No, it doesn’t happen often enough!), our 10 day or so visit passes in what seems like an hour.
Why is it that I crave the days when there is the most physical light, yet I wish those long days through the valleys of life would be oh, so much shorter?
I suppose the answer is clear. We’d all prefer to lounge in the sunshine 17+ hours a day than to go through the valleys of life….
There have been times in my life, however, when I’m deep in the depths of some valley of negative circumstances or another, when time has passed quickly. Take, for example, that before mentioned day I was waiting for cancer surgery. After the first two hours passed in what seemed to span 3 days, I finally began to hear God’s voice telling me that He could help me through this seemingly-endless wait. He motivated me to pull out a list of encouragements and encouraging Bible texts that people throughout the world had sent me and I had printed off for this occasion. I obeyed, and in a matter of 30 seconds, the last 45 minutes passed by and they were calling me for surgery.
Of course, I forgot this the very next time I was faced with what seemed like an endless problem, but every time I finally hear God’s voice reminding me that He is my strength and my source of comfort, every time I remember to praise Him in the storm, things go so much faster and smoother and better.
Isn’t this what one of my favorite Psalms has to tell us?
“Hear my cry, O God;
listen to my prayer.
“From the ends of the earth I call to you,
I call as my heart grows faint;
lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
For you have been my refuge,
a strong tower against the foe.
“I long to dwell in your tent forever
and take refuge in the shelter of your wings.
“For you, God, have heard my vows;
you have given me the heritage of those who fear your name.” (Ps. 61:1-5 NIV)
Yes, in the northern hemisphere we may be approaching the summer solstice, the longest day of the year, but you may feel like you’re in the longest valley experience as well. Just remember: The darkest hour is just before the dawn, and God is there to carry you through that dark hour so that it will pass in the twinkling of an eye. Call out to Him! Let Him be your refuge, your strong tower! Take refuge in the shelter of His wings! For you know that He has heard your cries and longs to reach out to you!
As I set out to write this devotional, God placed yet another important lesson on my mind… Join us next week for Summer Solstice, Part 2
In His love,
Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author — “Aboard God’s Train — A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer”, Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with Answers2Prayer Ministries. Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart.
(To view the entire “Summer Solstice” mini-series, please click here.)