Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Bright Spots on a Dreary Day
It’s raining today -- not pouring, but a light steady rain that doesn’t look like it wants to quit anytime soon. Yesterday was also a dreary day, although it wasn’t actually raining most of the time. And on that dreary day, I was involved in a dreary task -- washing dishes in my parents’ kitchen. My mother is ill and I had gone there to stay while my dad went to the dentist. There was plenty to do, so I kept busy. One of the tasks I accomplished was washing up the morning’s dishes. It was as I stood there at the sink. looking absently out of the window, that I noticed three beautiful bright spots in a very dreary day.
First it was the bluebirds. Eastern bluebirds are absolutely breathtaking in their beauty. Two of them perched on the clothesline posts out back. That would have been enough to lift my spirits right there. But as I watched, one of them flew down to the ground and briefly lighted there. And for just a moment there was the most glorious juxtaposition of colors -- the bright blue bird, the bright green grass, and a bright yellow dandelion. What an amazing sight it was! As I said, it lasted only a moment. But wasn’t God good to allow me to look out the kitchen window at that very moment?
In thinking about it later, I found spiritual applications in what I’d seen. First, is that in every situation, no matter how dark and dreary, God will give us glimpses of His love and sovereignty if we will only take the time to look.
Second -- and this is something I’ve noticed before -- is that God wants believers to shine, to glorify Him, no matter how dark and dreary a time they are going through. Things show up brighter and more beautifully against a dark background -- think of diamonds against black velvet, or glowing fall leaves on a dull autumn day, or bright dandelions and violets on a gray afternoon in spring.
Elizabeth George expands upon this theme in her wonderful book God’s Garden of Grace. It is worth hunting for this book just to read her encouraging words. Words like these: “True spiritual joy shines brightest against the darkness of trials, tragedy, and testing and the blacker the background, the greater the brilliance. Similarly, life’s dark struggles make Christian joy more intense and our heartfelt praise more glorious.”
My bluebird, dandelion and green grass on a dreary day are simple reminders of a very complex and remarkable truth. I was so encouraged! I hope you will be, too.