Happy summer solstice!
It’s all downhill from here!
In the longest day of the year its easy to forget the darkness of winter. And on the shortest day of the year— December 21, it’s easy to forget the bright light of summer. I like to think of these two days, the longest and the shortest, like the ups and downs of life. Like hills and valleys.
On winter solstice I rejoice that the darkness has an end, that every day is brighter. On today, the summer solstice I can look down at the dark valleys I have walked through, days of darkness and doubt. Today on the peak of the mountain top, summer seems like easy endless days of sunshine and fun. Even though we are going to gradually slide into the dark days of winter, like another valley, but today, we can see other mountain tops in our future. We can carry that hope and vision into the valley again, knowing that the darkness has an end and we will once again rise to the top.
When on the top of the mountain, a valley can look dark and foreboding, obscured by clouds. We often imagine what that future valley will be like when we get there. I call that “running ahead of God.” If we run ahead of God we are imagining a future and dread can grip our hearts. We can’t imagine the comfort of God for a future “what if” because God is not in the future our fear imagines. If you are facing a valley, a terrible diagnosis, a failing marriage, or unemployment. It is easy to let the “what ifs” carry your imagination to the future where everything is hopeless.
Our fear is very good at painting a terrible scenario. Like an endless loop that we rewind to watch over and over. The Lord says that he is a present help in the time of need. He is not in the future your fear creates. Don’t run ahead of God and when you arrive in the valley, he will be with you every step of the way. He will be there for the long struggle to climb the next mountain.
I like to think our journey with all the hills and valleys are like an open loop on a roller coaster. I often find myself seemingly close to where I was yet further along than I realize — like stretching a slinky. I am still growing and still moving forward. I try to keep pace with the Lord and not run ahead with the “what ifs” clamoring in my heart. When my mind runs away, I must pull it back and say “be still and know that He is God.” I know he is near, I know that he is my present comfort in my time of need.