Choosing Substance: Winter Solstice (Day 8)

(Winter solstice is the day with the fewest hours of sunlight during the whole year. In the Northern Hemisphere, it occurs around December 21 or 22. – Farmer’s Almanac)


Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning.”
– King David of ancient Israel, Psalm 30:5 nkjv

It’s a painful reality for some—even at Christmastime—when winter’s lifeless trees are sprinkled with light and society boasts an uncommon goodwill toward others.

We clothe ourselves, our homes, our communities with beauty, genuinely trying to grasp the hope Advent holds in its open palms. Yet, our wounds still shout, or sometimes just whisper, when we hide them with holiday bliss.

The Winter Solstice. The ache of a forever night. It’s deepened in midnight’s silence when rest and daily healing should be at work. The sun hides, causing the shadows to linger on earth’s face and even deeper onto human hearts. And the restless mind replays scene after scene, watching the clash of circumstance with what we hold to be true in our souls. Yes, weeping endures for many through a night so heavy it’s almost hard to breathe.

But a long, dark night is a mere shadow compared to 400 years of silence in ancient history. Between our record of Malachi and the book of Matthew, God seemed silent, painfully silent, until He woke the world’s soul. The timeless Restorer brought morning after four centuries.

Out of the darkness, He set His plan in motion to win back the hearts of people believing a lie that He did not love them. He’d woo back those running from the very One who could heal their hearts forever.

Zechariah, he boldly pointed toward the Sunrise, promising their spiritual winter solstice was not as powerful as imagined.The morning light from heaven is about to break upon us,” he proclaimed, “to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, and to guide us to the path of peace.” Luke 1:78, 79 esv

And I know He’s light eternal, but I’ve never called Him my Sunrise. Prince of Peace? Yes. Wonderful Counselor? Of course. Mighty God? Yep. Everlasting Father? Yes, that too.

But my Sunrise? My hope fulfilled? My beginning? Yes, all that—over and over and over again.

A person of substance turns her face from the dark and dares to look for the Sunrise.

Friend, should you be one who’s scorning reality when the world is deep in holiday bliss, know the Song is yours, too. He rescues those weeping in the dark and those painfully hiding in the shadow of death. He reaches for the very ones who must be guided back to the path of peace. Guided back to all we were created for.

He lifts us out of the mocking winter solstice. And the longing to understand is swallowed up with His greatness. And the darkness so heavy it taunts, births hope. And the tears in the night find their Promise, their Sunrise.

On the eighth day of Christmas my True Love gave to me a Forever Sunrise. In a few days, we’ll welcome December 25… May the joy of Christmas morning hold new meaning this year. Choose substance.

…With the dawn of redeeming grace…


Choosing Substance

  • Read through the short passage of Psalm 30. This is King David’s song when they were dedicating the temple.
  • Verse 2 – What shattered pieces of your life seem to resurface with the holiday season?
  • Zechariah (in Luke 1:78-79) described Christ as the One who would “guide us to the path of peace.” In what areas of your life do you need to be guided back, pulled toward, peace? Why is avoidance, or even strife, often easier than peace?
  • What will it look like for you, in your specific circumstances, to turn your face from the dark and search for the Sunrise?

photo source

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