I tend to forget the brightness and intensity of the sun. Especially here in England. But the past few Saturdays i have been blessed with a very bright sun. I'm beginning to appreciate this rarity, though. Because when these sunny days do come, I am just in awe of the intensity, and the majesty. A huge star, so far away, that I can feel on my face. Incredible.
I go to Africa in three days. Yes, three, which is much closer to zero than the previous numbers. I honestly can't even believe that it is almost here. This week has been a hard one. Feelings of inadequacy, fear, anxiety, and defeat have been bigger than any of my other feelings as of late. For me, there is nothing worse than the feelings of being defeated.
In the midst of all this darkness, I was reminded in the most beautiful way of the light.
We had another media fast this week as Capernwray. This really isn't hard for me, I'm fine with not checking emails, watching movies, etc. But the one that seems almost impossible is the absent of music. You don't realize how much it plays a role in your days, until you go without it. This time it seemed even harder, because i was feeling all these feelings of inadequacy, and I wanted to escape them via music. So, I felt far from home, and just... sort of crazy.
But then, I learned a lesson...
I had recently finished a journal that I have had for three years. This is what I like to call my "moments" journal. So, it's not consistent in the least. But it holds my most favorite moments from the past year. So, on prayer day, I decided to read through it. Mind you, I'm still in this sour mood. So, I grabbed my journal and attempted to decipher my writing. When I stumbled upon January 31, 2008, I read it. And then read it again, and then again. Then I just, cried.
It was an entry about joy. It was talking about how joy is a choice, not an emotion. Joy is a set of mind. So even through the darkness, we can choose to set our minds on things above. We can choose to claim the promises and truths from our Lord.
We can choose joy.
Then, I had written a quote from a friend that has experienced a kind of darkness that i've never known, and he says this,
"I do not deny the darkness, but I choose not to dwell there."
So, something I had written in my journal 3 years previous, was exactly what I needed to hear on February 18, 2010.
So funny how perfect God's timing is.
I can't wait to see what I'm going to learn in Africa. I can't wait until I see God's beauty in a whole new way. And I can't wait to tell all of you about it.
So friends, let us choose joy.
Let us not dwell in the darkness.
Let us recognize the light.
and let us dwell there.
Let's not forget to be thankful for the darkness, though. Because without the darkness, we would forget the intensity of the sun...
[This is a picture I took at Lake Windermere, on a day that the sun seemed brighter than usual.]