But let all who take refuge in you rejoice;
let them sing joyful praises forever.
Spread your protection over them,
that all who love your name may be filled with joy.
For you bless the godly, O Lord;
you surround them with your shield of love.
(Psalm 5:11,12 NLT)
When I looked out my window I saw a dull gloomy day. Landscape photographers are dependent on the weather. Fog and rain can make interesting lighting conditions but in the autumn when the trees are in colour I wanted bright light. I didn’t feel like it, I decided to go anyway. Once I was on the road I saw a small patch of blue in the sky to the north.
I simply followed the light and came to the end of the road at a small lake at the foot of a mountain. I parked and waited, enjoying God’s presence and soaked in the warm breeze and the song of the birds.
Then the sun broke through.
Sometimes it takes some effort to follow the light and look for the positive and beautiful around us. I’m not ignoring alarming stories of fear and evil. I care very much. But when I stay in the gloom too long my eyes become dim. I stop looking to the horizon for hope and begin to add my own sad you-think-that’s-bad stories.
It’s not so much a matter of avoiding negativity as actively pursuing the positive – things for which we are thankful.
John, who recorded his experiences in the book of Revelation, began by saying he was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day when he looked. And then he looked, and then he looked some more. Seeing things from God’s perspective requires active participation on our part.
For me on that day, hope started by getting out of the driveway, looking to the sky, and heading toward the light.