I love 3-year-olds. They call it as they see it, expressing honestly and openly what they perceive and what they want.
Earlier this week, our 3-year-old grandson made an observation and asked for a solution. He noticed the exterior of neighboring houses were adorned with lights and his was not, prompting him to say, “I want my house Christmas!” So, of course, my daughter and son-in-law made that happen, decorating the exterior of their home with icicle lights so their sweet little man could enjoy Christmas on his house.
As this difficult year draws to a close, we can all use a little Christmas on our houses and a lot of light in our hearts. As many have said, 2020 has been a bear, and we long for rays of light and hope to dispel our fears and illuminate our darkness.
Following are some thoughts on light:
One of my fondest growing up memories is of a wood-burning fire in the fireplace. The smell of the wood and sounds of crackle and hiss send me spiraling back in time to the warmth of home and hearth. I can see my dad carrying in wood, placing it on the hearth, and sitting on a three-legged stool, tending the fire and warming his hands. I am grateful home and warmth are synonymous for me, especially as warmth relates to love and harmonious relationships.
During these days, allow the glow of festive holiday lights to remind you of blessings, of a warm place to live, continued provision and protection, the love of family, and enduring friendships.
Many people suffer from SAD, Seasonal Affective Disorder, a condition that results from diminished sunlight during the long months of winter. SAD causes fatigue, depression, and feelings of hopelessness. One of the treatments for SAD is light therapy.
In so many areas of life, light makes a huge difference. It provides illumination in ways other than the properties we traditionally assign to light. Light enhances, highlights, and brings clarity to circumstances. Because we experience the warmth and brightness of light we understand its value when juxtaposed against darkness.
Have you noticed that situations seem more intense and severe at night? When our children were young and ill, fevers always seemed higher and their conditions more severe during the night. Similarly, when you are facing an insurmountable challenge or problem, the impossible-ness of the situation seems worse during the darkness of nighttime. Inevitably, with morning light, circumstances do not seem as overwhelming. Insight dawns with the light and you gain fresh perspective.
Light is never static. It shifts, moves, and changes in intensity. At times, there are shadows, but the light breaks forth through even the thickest, darkest clouds.
Many years ago, when I faced challenging decisions, I remained on the threshold, fearful of making a mistake. As I prayed for direction, I visualized a dark room. A door was on the other side, but it too, was shrouded in shadow. I cried out to God, “the room is dark and there is no hint of light under the door.” His response was simple, “Go in the room and I will turn on the light.”
Moving forward isn’t always easy. Most of us want to see light on the next step before we take it, but forward motion requires faith and trust to believe the dark places in our lives will receive illumination in the process.
Although this year has been fraught with fear and challenges, the light of a new dawn propels us forward. The difficulties of 2020 were not unlike those facing people over 2000 years ago—oppression, uncertainty, unrest—but in his perfect timing and plan, God sent the Light to redeem, provide hope, and direction. During this holiday season, follow the Light.
In the very beginning the Living Expression was already there. Life came into being because of him, for his life is light for all humanity. And this Living Expression is the Light that bursts through gloom—the Light that darkness could not diminish. John 1:1, 4-5 TPT
Candy Arrington is a writer, blogger, speaker, and freelance editor. She often writes on tough topics with a focus on moving beyond difficult life circumstances. Candy has written hundreds of articles, stories, and devotionals published by numerous outlets including: Inspiration.org, Arisedaily.com, CBN.com, Healthgrades.com, Care.com, Focus on the Family, NextAvenue.org, CountryLiving.com, and Writer’s Digest. Candy’s books include When Your Aging Parent Needs Care (Harvest House) and AFTERSHOCK: Help, Hope, and Healing in the Wake of Suicide (B&H Publishing Group).
To receive Candy’s blog, Forward Motion, via email, go to https://candyarrington.com/blog/ and scroll to the bottom of the page to sign up.