Springtime Reminders: Joy Comes with the Morning // M-Note 4.13.24

Phuket, Thailand by Grace Basler
Earlier this week, there was heavy rain overnight. The next morning when I woke up to walk the dogs, there was an incredible vibrance to the spring colors. The grass was bright green, the irises in my front yard were a deep shade of purple. The reds, pinks, and blues of our emerging flowers almost seemed to be lit in neon. The gloomy and windy rainstorm the night before dissipated and was replaced by a beautiful and electric spring morning. I know I am not the only one who noticed this. I got online and saw several other morning people who snapped pictures of their bright yards and colorful landscaping. It is one of my favorite features of spring.
This phenomenon of gloomy rainy days transforming into gently sunny and vibrant mornings reminds me that conditions in our world and our life change fast. There are days and even seasons where life is hard. Maybe relationships are extra-strained, work or school is fraught with drama, or maybe internally we are battling anxiety and stress. There are moments when life does not seem to be with us, where we struggle with faith in what St. John of the Cross called “A Dark Night of the Soul.” There are times when our grief, despair, worry, complacency, boredom, or busyness just hang over our lives like a thunder cloud. When we are in one of these seasons, it feels like they could last forever, like we will never see the sun again.
In these moments, it is important to remember that just as a rainy night can break forth into a beautifully vibrant morning, so do the seasons of our life change. Seasons of struggle, hardship, suffering, or pain do develop, dissipate, and change. They do not last forever. And often, these seasons of difficulty can and do break forth into something new and beautiful in our own lives. Enriched understanding, greater wisdom, strengthened spirits, a more mature outlook, and a deeper sense of what it means to be happy.
The Psalms say this:
Weeping may linger for the night,
     but joy comes with the morning. 
(Psalm 30:5b)
Springtime reminds me that no matter the length or darkness of the night, no matter the severity of the storm or the volume of the thunder, morning is around the corner. And with it a new and more vibrant day.
For all of you that are in a season of struggle of any kind, know that I am praying for you and that you are not alone. Most of all, remember joy comes with the morning and the night never lasts forever.
P.S. This weekend, I am continuing our series Screen Time: Troubleshooting our Relationship with Technology. Last week, I talked about the challenge of unlimited streaming and the temptation to give too much of our time over to phones and screens. If you missed it, please check it out and share it with your friends (or teenagers). This week, I will be talking about social media and the temptation to look around at what everyone else is doing and compare our lives to theirs. This comparison culture can often leave us feeling inadequate, inferior, and alone. But scripture has some hopeful words about how we can resist the temptation to compare our lives to others. It is an important message for people of all ages, and I hope you will be in church on Sunday to hear it.
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