Few of us, I’m sure, would say that winter is our favourite season. Although weather-wise this has been a relatively storm-free and remarkably mild winter so far, it has carries with it the natural pattern of short bleak days and leaden skies, of long dark nights and the starkness of trees bare of leaves.
All that aside, I know that for many individuals this has also been a difficult winter because of their having to cope with illness, or worrying about the health of a loved one, or knowing the emptiness left from bereavement.
I recently heard of yet another term that has come to us from our American cousins ‘Blue Monday’. Apparently it refers to a Monday in mid January that, for a combination of reasons (financial and climatic) is supposed to be the saddest day of the year.
It may be that, despite ourselves, we can appreciate some truth in this latest terminology. I’m sure all of us have know what it is to feel blue this month for some reason or another.
It is important for us to know that this experience is not unique to us as an individual, nor is it a symptom of our own day and generation. It seems that undergoing these times of darkness and dis-ease is part of the human condition itself.
We see it reflected in throughout the book of Psalms where the psalmist expresses his despair at life and wonders where God is in it all. We even see it in the life experience of our Lord himself when from the cross he shouts a quotation from the Psalms “My God, my God. Why have you abandoned me?”
The truth is that God never abandons us. He is alongside us in the darkest night and through the most difficult of circumstances. God never leaves us nor forsakes us.
Even on the bare branches, if we look close enough, we will see the formation of fresh buds and the promise of new life.
yours in the faith,