A Sound Reminder: It's Always Darkest Before the Dawn
May 5, 2014
As a dad, I have the great responsibility (and privilege) to teach my children. I take this very seriously. After dinner, we read great classics - right now we are on Tom Sawyer. I explain why prayer is important. Of course I impart my culinary wisdom - corn dogs are awesome.
I teach my kids about certain maxims. Each spring, the weather related ones come forth: "March is in like a lion and out like a lamb" and "April showers bring May flowers."
Old knowledge is brand new to children, and these sayings give plenty of fodder to promote discussion with my kids. Recently, we examined "it's always darkest before dawn" during a car ride. The kids debated dawn, streetlights, and even daylight saving time. We also spent a little time on its deeper meaning.
I was reminded of this recently when a dear friend and I spoke. In the course of our conversation, he acknowledged that he was in a profound depression. As we spoke, he said his outlook was bleak.
My friend is a man of faith. I know him to be my brother in Christ. His fog of sadness was in spite of his faith. He wept on the phone as we talked. He felt that he was letting his family, friends, co-workers down but he could not seem to will himself to get better. He was in a morass of guilt, shame and sadness.
Candidly, I was stunned. Here was a guy whom I respected so much, who always seemed to have it all together, and he was utterly stricken. We prayed and he I meditated on the truths of our faith, about God’s love for us while we were yet sinners, how we were so precious to Him that He gave His only son over to the Cross.
In my own ear it sounded a bit trite even as I said it, but I told him how life can get so dark and lonely but that it gets better -- and it always does. The bleak, overcast days of rain in April are the prelude to the riot of beauty as the flowers of May bless us with their presence. The pitch black of midnight is always chased away by the golden dawn.
Pray for him and for all those who battle illness.
America is in a dark time. We see leaders who are greedy, self-absorbed and willing to use their power against the people. Our civil life is filled with anger and hate. It feels like grave evil lurks everywhere.
We see our children - the most vulnerable of ours - exposed to vulgarities. Not a day passes when we are not hearing about children being exploited, and the concerns of parents are treated with indifference by our leaders.
We need to remember that God hears. God sees. God is not indifferent. We live in a world where pain has been defeated on the Cross, and the dark days when Jesus lay in the tomb were utterly dispelled with the sound of a stone being rolled away.
Things always get better and they do so one moment at at time.