Monday, December 17, 2012

{ When it's Dark }

I'm not afraid of the dark. And I love all four seasons. But the last couple of years, come November and December, I've wondered if I have seasonal affective disorder {SAD}. Previously I've attributed the mild depression, listlessness, and general malaise toward all aspects of life to different circumstances. But it's happened like clockwork enough Novembers in a row for me to take note. While I definitely don't have all the symptoms, I'm upping my vitamin D intake and considering a light therapy lamp. One of the reasons I've refused to consider it might be SAD is because I grew up in Idaho, which has equally short days and early sunsets in winter, but recently I realized the difference is that in Idaho, it is often sunny during the day in the winter. Not so in the Seattle area. Not so at all.

A couple nights ago, I realized that celebrating Jesus' birth in the darkest, depressingest season of the year is appropriate. Eternal God, outside time, Creator of everything, entered our darkness. Our filth. He took on a fragile, helpless human body. He was born {and I've been there--it's messy and gross and I can't even imagine God being born}. He willingly entered this sin-strewn world. He didn't just rescue us from our darkness, He entered into our darkness. He bore it. He lived in it. And at the end He did what we never can: He bore all God's wrath for of my sins, and the sins of every other Christian. He bore all the punishment we deserve...why? To rescue us from our own darkness. He entered our darkness so we don't have to spend eternity separated from Him--from everything good and beautiful and holy. He saves us not only from the darkness of sin in this world, but from the darkness of eternal separation from Him.

When I think about that, the dark afternoons aren't so hard to bear. They remind me that I don't have to bear the crushing weight of my sin. Jesus already did. God has no wrath left for me--none!! Not even for the sins in my future! Jesus paid all my debt. Something shifts in my head, and I can't wait to celebrate Jesus' birth on December 25. Without His incarnation, without His sinless life in my place, without His death for my sins and resurrection that promises me eternal life, whoa. December is really bleak. Life really does suck. But with Jesus? What's a little three-month patch of no sunshine compared to being ransomed from death?!

So now I have Christmas lights on and a mug of hot spiced cider to keep me company while Lainie naps--no Christmas carols though, which might wake her up...and the 4 o'clock-ish sunset time doesn't really bother me.

And with that, Lainie's awake. Later!


  1. It really is such an appropriate time to celebrate the Light of the world. I am with you on disliking these sun-starved days - they do take their toll for sure (and I miss going for summer sunny walks at 9pm - now I'm heading to bed at 9pm or hibernating in front of the fireplace!) One verse our church has focused on the past 2 weeks is 'the light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it" John1:5. I've really enjoyed that verse and your thoughts on Jesus entering our darkness are perfect words to accompany :)

  2. Will be praying for you to find the help needed to deal with these long, dark days. What a comfort it is to know that Jesus is indeed our Light and that we never have to experience darkness to its fullest!

  3. Yes, yes, and yes. :) SO true, and wonderfully articulated.