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Daily Devotion: Hope for Dark Days

Are you anxiously anticipating more light and the early signs of spring?

By Rick Hamlin, New York, New York

As appeared in

“For I know the plans that I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans...to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11

I can’t help it. The second or third bitter week of January I start searching for signs of spring. Five o’clock on a weeknight, I look out my office window. Not the deep dark of night anymore, is it? There was a hint of blue, wasn’t there? I’m at a party and I hear someone say, “It’s staying light a little bit longer now.”

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“Have you noticed that?” I say, glad to hear someone else acknowledge what I secretly pine for: more light. The winter solstice has passed.

We hardly saw it back then because we were so busy singing Christmas carols, doing last-minute shopping, baking cookies, and sending out cards. But now around Martin Luther King Jr. weekend a glance at the morning sky makes me think, The sun is rising a little earlier now, isn’t it? Soon I won’t have to wake up in the dark. Soon I’ll be able to do my morning jog in sunlight. Soon I’ll leave the office in full glorious daylight.

I gaze at a thick crust of ice in the garden and say to myself, You know, we should be seeing those crocuses in another few weeks. Here the kids are coming back from sledding, dusting the snow off their boots, and I’m planning for spring.

I know there are spiritual advantages to living in the present, appreciating all the beauties of the day we’ve been given, but I can’t help yearning for what’s ahead—a week, two weeks, a month, two months—down the pike. The world spins on its axis and I spin ahead in hope. More light, more sun, more life.

Faith is built on hope. The hope of the Resurrection, the promise of God’s kingdom coming. I dig my fists into my parka, wrap the scarf tighter around my neck, pull down the wool hat and walk on, filled with thoughts of spring.

Give me hope, Lord, on the darkest days.
 

10 Prayers You Can't Live Without book cover Known by millions as the executive editor of Guideposts magazine, Rick Hamlin has written several books including Reading Between the Lines, his memoir Finding God on the A Train, and several novels. A contributor to Daily Guideposts since 1985 and an active blogger about prayer at guideposts.org, Rick currently lives in New York City with his wife, Carol, and is the author of 10 Prayers You Can’t Live Without: How to Talk to God About Anything (Guideposts Books 2013).