Behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age. (Matthew 28:20)
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name's sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. (Psalms 23:1-6)
As I was standing doing the ironing this morning I looked out over my garden to where some tulips have come into flower over the past few days. The sun was shining on them and their petals were fully open, they were basking in the sunlight and they looked completely joyous in the sunshine. Later this afternoon the flower bed where the tulips are will be in complete shadow as the sun makes its journey across the sky. At that time the flower petals will close up as the tulips will be in darkness.
This reminded me of how many of us might be feeling at the moment, we feel as if we have been plunged into darkness and all the joy is taken from us. But I know that the sun will shine again on those tulips in my garden and they will be joyous again. We know that God is with us both in the times when we feel the sun on our faces and we feel joyous as well as when we are in shadow and we feel surrounded by darkness. God never leaves us, he is with us always.
We may not be able to always see the sunshine, but we know it is there. We may not be able to see God, but he is always there of that we can be certain. We can hold onto this certainty in a time which seems so uncertain.
Loving Father, we thank you that you are always with us. You rejoice with us in our happiness and weep with us in our sadness. We ask that you surround all those who feel they are living in the shadows with your love at this time.