Stepping out of the darkness
People of the north are familiar with the term SAD — Seasonal Affective Disorder. It affects all age groups and genders and is determined to be brought on by lack of light.
After months of Alaskan fun in the sun, the season changes and day by day and we lose sunlight. This sunshine not only brings warmth, it brings light that allows us to see the vivid colors in this land of trees, mountains, water, flowers and animals.
It gives us more illumination to participate in sports, fishing, hunting and playing. Light is a good thing and since part of our year is bathed in darkness, we northern people celebrate the light. During the long dark winter, we find ways to treat and entertain ourselves to as much light as possible with vitamins, special lights and outdoor winter activities.
What northern Native elders have long known, medical findings are now proving that the human brain requires light for mental health. Researchers have discovered that sunlight is necessary to produce essential Vitamin D within the skin cells of animals and humans.
Light is needed for photosynthesis for plant growth, and this can explain why vegetation grows so quickly during the summer months. Our entire lives are programmed to receive and use light. Our minds and bodies need light and so do our spiritual lives.
Today, the people of this world are experiencing a form of sadness. The sadness, felt from the darkness of worry, sorrow, fear and hopelessness, is broadcast daily in the media. Storms of weather, violence and ruin tempt every one of us to feel this spiritual darkness. Taking vitamins and sitting under lights does not diminish these feelings of doom and gloom.
There is good news, however. More than 2,000 years ago, Christ walked this earth and taught that he is the light of the world. It is this light that today comforts us in our sad times and allows us to see the truth through his illumination. This light is a good thing and every day it is a God thing for us spiritually.
Understand that dark times are part of life just like night follows the day and the darker months are part of the seasonal change. Hope and joy come from living life in the light of Christ who has overcome all that the world offers to us in darkness.
He has called us to also be over-comers and celebrate his light in body, mind and spirit. Step out of the darkness of fear about what is happening in this chaotic world and into the light of love and peace.
Seek a group of believers that will share the light of Christ with you and then begin to enjoy the abundant life of love and hope.
“LORD, You have brought light to my life; my God, You light up my darkness” (Psalms 18:28).
Carol Roper is a member of Gate Way Fellowship in Peters Creek.