Tuesday, January 24, 2012

It Makes Me Want to Dance.

It's remarkable, how greatly the little things can affect us. Today was the first day of complete, clear sunshine in over two weeks. Now, don't get me wrong--I'm all for rainy days. I love the sound raindrops make when they strike the window, watching them streak down and form intricate rivers. I especially love thunderstorms, subtle rumbles and surprise crashes, and those jagged fingers of white light, here and gone in an instant, but I know I'm not dreaming, I know this magic is real.

Still, after two weeks of gray-drenched skies, it was beginning to wear on me. Funny thing is, I didn't even realize it until I stepped outside today, into the cloudless blue. As I walked to various buildings on campus during the day, I simply marveled at how perfect the world was. Suddenly, all that mattered was drinking in the crisp January air, the bright sun offering just enough warmth to soothe the skin. It made me want to dance, spin around in circles and never stop. To stretch out on the grass and simply be. It made me happy to be alive.

But you know something? I don't think I would have felt that way if it hadn't been raining for the past two weeks. I don't think I would have appreciated it, reveled in it, quite as fully.

We tend to complain when things aren't going our way. We ask God why He allows us to suffer. We ask that He shield us from all pain. But it seems to me that it's those who have suffered the most who have the capacity to see and appreciate the beauty of life most deeply.

See, without bad days, I don't think we would truly understand what it means to have good ones. I know this isn't the only reason God allows us to experience pain, but I do believe it is one of them. My grandma once asked me, many years ago, what I thought the best feeling in the world was. I told her it was relief. Think about it--that split second after you are released from a great anxiety, fear, or pain--it's sheer happiness, pure ecstasy. But could we experience the latter without the former?

I guess what I'm trying to say in all this mess is: remember a better day is coming. Know that there is purpose in this pain, and release is coming for you. Don't settle for numbness, don't encase yourself behind a concrete wall. If you're drowning in the downpour, cling to the Savior's hand; soon the clouds will clear. If you're wasting away in the desert sun, stay beneath the shadow of your Father's wings; soon the rain will bring relief. Even if the words seem empty now, hang on to the truth behind them, and never let go.

A new day is coming, more beautiful than anything we could have imagined. And when that day dawns, when we make that crossing from brokenness to joy eternal, we will understand.

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