Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Sunshine On My Shoulders

Last week was cold and rainy. We'd been spoiled with some nice weather and then suddenly it felt like early spring again. We were so relieved when the weekend arrived and brought some sunshine and warmer temperatures with it. Now every morning when I wake up, the sun is streaming through the windows of my house, making everything seem bright and inviting. I've had the windows open for several days, and all the cooped up, stale smell of winter is gone. Just being in that sunshine perceptibly improves my mood. I wake up happy now, thinking about the lovely bike ride I'll have to work instead of all the tasks I'll have to do when I get there.

Everybody loves sunshine, and there are lots of reasons why. Our bodies like the vitamin D we get from the sun. We like to be warm, and we enjoy the light that the sun gives us. We like not having to turn the heat or the lights on in our house. We like being able to go outside in lighter clothes and enjoy outdoor activities. We like being able to see and appreciate all the colors in our world by the light of the sun, and we love the plants and trees that grow because of the sun's energy. The sun (and its location in relationship to the Earth) is what makes life on our planet possible at all.

But when I bask in the happiness that the sun brings, there's more than biology and physical comfort going on. God engineered all of us to respond well to reasonable levels of light. Light is at the foundation of the entire creation, and He uses it to remind us that He is taking care of us. God's first act of creation was to declare, "Let there be light!" and that command rings throughout our entire existence. As John so poetically put it, "The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it." (John 1:5) God has cast himself in the role of light, the one who shelters us from the life-quenching darkness. Without light—without God—we cannot exist. But we need not fear, because God will always be with us. The regular rising of the sun reminds me of that and teaches me to appreciate and expect God's tender care.

Sunshine is one of the most basic and universal gifts that God gives us. We need light to live, and therefore we are glad to have it. The sun shines for everyone, whether they love God or not, and that reminds us that God will be with us, trying to take care of us, whether we are faithful or not. I am thankful today for the sun and for everything it represents—health, warmth, happiness, and a loving God.

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