Darkest Before the Dawn

“weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.” - Psalm 30:5b

Dear Friends,

Quick question - am I the only one who experienced the weather-whiplash of last week and wondered what exactly was going on?

A month ago, I was fully convinced that we had experienced the last hurrah of winter. When the final fallen snow melted away and we had that stretch of wildly warm weather, I was certain that was it. When we dipped a bit near freezing, I maintained that snow would not fall. And I was wrong. Boy, was I wrong!

I looked out my window and could barely see the trees twenty feet away! While we never needed to call the plow truck, salt the walk or wipe my car, we got snow and it got COLD! Thursday afternoon, I stood out there directing traffic for the Pop Up Pantry with numbed fingers. So much for the summer!

But as they say, it’s always darkest before the dawn. And often, it’s coldest before the sun rises. Easter morning, maybe more than any I’ve experienced over forty years, bore that out this year.

My usual Sunday morning includes a stroll down the hill and the 3 blocks or so to the church. This Easter, not only was I greeted by the rising sun, a pink streak warming the horizon, but also by the loudest and fullest bird calls that I can ever recall. I looked to my left as I stepped out of the house, and there, sitting on the telephone wire was a bright red cardinal, cheering the sun. As I walked down Belmont Ave, the chorus of birds grew louder and louder, more numerous and more celebratory than I expected. And as I heard them, it occurred to me that this day, this day of all days, was a day where nature and creation knew the rest of the story… before the rest of the world!

On Easter Sunday, as the women prepared to mourn at the tomb, burdened with grief and despair, creation was already celebrating - because Jesus wasn’t there!

How many times, do we experience set-backs and slip-ups, how many times do we experience dark nights and cold winds, how many times do we experience impassible obstacles and unexpected problems right before a big blessing?

That is part of the Easter story. That is part of God’s story. And it’s part of your story.

Don’t give up, don’t give in, don’t abandon the task too early - what you are experiencing as an unexpected blast of cold, an unexplained night of dark, a seemingly insurmountable obstacle - just may be the last ditch effort of an enemy that will melt away in the warm light of God’s love as the Son shines on you today. Hang in there, rejoicing comes in the morning!

Welcoming you to Grow in Jesus,

Pastor Don

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