Last week freezing rain and ice passed through our area. The power flickered several times as the power lines struggled to bear up under ice and fallen tree limbs. One large old oak tree on our property, whom my husband affectionately named “Grandpa”, lost one of his great limbs under the weight of the ice. Many trees lost limbs of various sizes, and some trees fell down altogether. The day was dreary, and the wet air saturated with a damp chill that seemed unshakable.
The next day was still cold, but partly sunny, and in our yard nature seemed to perk up ever so slightly. Our trees were still bowed down under the ice, their bark looking dark and mournful. It gave a little weight to the argument I’ve heard from some that winter seems to just remind them of death.
I headed out over Afton Mountain to run some errands. As I ascended the mountain in the golden late afternoon sun, I was stunned with the beauty cascading down the mountainside. (And I kicked myself for not having my camera with me!!)
All the trees were wrapped in a seamless coating of sparkling ice, and the sunlight shone through the ice as if the ice were a million prisms, sending the rays of gold out in radiant starbursts. It looked as if the trees themselves had been touched by King Midas, and were radiating light from within.
It made me think – we, as God’s children, have seasons of life that weigh us down. Circumstances that break off limbs, or even knock us down physically, emotionally or otherwise. Yet, though wrapped in heavy, icy cold and being only dark and damp beneath, the difficult times often provide an opportunity for the Son to shine through us.
Those trees had nothing within themselves to radiate that golden light, and without the heavy ice their own bark could never reflect it that way. They could never shine like that on their own. No, the sun shone through the ice, and was magnified and dispersed in a gorgeous display that declared the glory of God and His creation.
I think that, to at least some extent, it’s in the difficult circumstances that Christ shines through us best. We have to recognize that we’re never going to shine like that on our own. Christ takes ourselves and our struggles, and as He sanctifies us and delivers us His light is magnified.
Soli Deo Gloria!