The long nights…

Hey, beautiful people!

How has your week been?

A new routine I have started in lockdown is having some quiet time in the middle of the afternoon. It is typically about 3pm as the sky is beginning to darken, I light a candle and read a chapter of Mark’s gospel. Honestly, I look forward to this time; spending it with the Lord as the longer nights’ role in. Normally by the time I have finished, my candle is the brightest element within my room.

I do struggle a little more within this season, my favourite season is Autumn because of all the beautiful colours it brings. I cannot deny it brings the longer nights with it and I am not a fan of the long patches of darkness. I tend to have a few candles burning and I create a calming and cosy atmosphere where possible. It helps me to transition and accept the turning of the season.

I will admit, over the past week I have had a few of what I call my grey days. Where I feel a little more alone, I struggle with the motivation to do things and I struggle with interacting with people. I used to be ashamed when I felt like this. I would be praying for the feeling and weight it brings to go away. I have noticed it happens most frequently in the colder and darker months; it is a problem which effects a lot of people. I was mentored well last year when I struggled with this issue while in ministry abroad; I know it will not last forever and to show myself grace and understanding on those days.

The reason I wanted to talk about these days, is due to me feeling I am more separated from God when I am going through the grey  days. This week, God showed me how even on those days how close He is to me. I share this with you all because I think a lot of us need the encouragement on how close God is to us. I am going to share briefly what God showed me and then put some of His beautiful words below for us to meditate on.

On one of my grey days, I was trying to have some quiet time. I had opened up the passage and I noticed my mind was not at all on the text. Instead of ignoring my thoughts, I started to speak them out to God. I just talked to the Lord about how I was feeling and some of the past events my mind kept travelling back too. I did not think a lot about it at the time, I was just being honest with the Lord. I was feeling pretty down about a lot of things.

Anyway, I had my quiet time with the Lord and was getting on with my day. When my parents made me aware of a present which had been left for me. The timing of the present and the message which was given with it, was so intentional and I am so thankful for the kindness of the person who gifted it to me. It was a beautiful reminder of the identity the Lord is giving me as I spend time in relationship with Him. As I allow Him to direct my steps and use my life for His glory. I have the gift on my desk, while I type this. It is a beautiful box of Lindt Lindor chocolates, in the specific flavour I have wanted to try. Anytime I see the box now, I thank the Lord my identity is being built in Him and my identity is not based on my thoughts and feelings on a given day. It was such a testament of how close God is and continues to be in my life. I often feel there are so many things which limit me from His presence, but He is able to make a way through it all.

It is the same for all of us, God shows no favouritism to his children. He cares, He loves, and He guides us all through life if we will let Him. At times, He shows He is so close in the most intentional and beautiful ways.

As the long nights roll in and the days can seem so dark and cold, may we remember the light of the Lord continues to burn. It is an everlasting light, which no darkness can ever overcome. Even when we feel God may be silent or distant, may we continuously meditate and praise him for the God He is and continues to be. Our feelings will come and go but our God remains steadfast and true through the ages.

May you not be ashamed if you have grey days too or maybe even grey weeks/months; when everything feels bleak and you feel more alone. For there is nothing that can limit God from getting to you. God is not ashamed of our weaknesses because time and time again, He will use it for his glory. Take heart!

Light a few candles and find some peace. Do not be hard on yourself when you cannot figure out why you feel the way you do or cannot do the things you want to do. Your identity is not being built on what you can or cannot do but on our firm foundation which is Jesus Christ.

SCRIPTURE TIME (take time to meditate on these beautiful and honest words).

The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. (Psalm 145v18)

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of the life. ( John 8v12)

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3v5-6)

For we do not have a High Priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. ( Hebrews 4v 15-16)

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. ( 2 Corinthians 1v3)

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. ( 1 Peter 5v7)

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (John 1v5)

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in times of trouble. (Psalm 46v1)

We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. May your unfailing love be with us, Lord, even as we put our hope in you. (Psalm 33v20-22)

The Lord is close to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. (Psalm 34v18)

May you have a blessed week. You are loved and known, even on your hardest day. God bless, Victoria. xx

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