Insistent darkness lingers later each night, its tendrils darkening my mood and shredding my sanity. I'm a mess. Physically, emotionally, and mentally. I struggle with seasonal depression this time of year, and add to that the stress of being off meds and increasingly ill and having no idea what is going on with my body, and all the deep breaths and prayers in the world find it difficult to combat brain chemistry. I am doing ok, really, it just takes work. Hard, tiring work.
Every time you cross my mind, I break out in exclamations of thanks to God. Each exclamation is a trigger to prayer. I find myself praying for you with a glad heart. I am so pleased that you have continued on in this with us, believing and proclaiming God’s Message, from the day you heard it right up to the present. There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears. Philippians 1:3-6 MSG
Sometimes the right words just plop themselves in your lap right when you need them. This reading was right there waiting for me tonight, encouraging me.
Paul's letter serves as a reminder to me that, right here in the middle of my mess, there is God, there is Grace, and there is something for which to be thankful.
There are people in my life who make all the difference in the gloom: a friend who makes my day with pumpkin spice coffee; a boy who shows concern for my well-being and then says he'll pray for me; people who sincerely utter the words, "if there's anything I can do to make your life easier," or otherwise offer help; and all those who really want to know how I'm doing and listen when I tell them without trying to fix things. A teenager who looks at and longs for pets with me and laughs with me at the truly odd lot that is out there awaiting adoption or a smallish child who cuddles up with me to share their warmness chase away the gloom.
These people, although they probably don't realize it, shine God's light into my life and encourage me beyond measure. Every time they cross my mind, I break out in exclamations of thanksgiving to God, each exclamation a trigger for prayer, each prayer bringing peace and joy and light to my heart.
As darkness insists on its leisurely path, I need not worry. God's Light shines brighter in my life than any darkness and is reflected in the caring words and actions of those I am blessed to have in my life.