John 3:16-21 (NIV) 16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God."
I've been thinking about the sunflowers and impending fall and winter for the last few days. The www.biblegateway.com verses of the day were 20-21 above so I knew today was time. When I read them, I didn't even think about that John 3:16 was part of this passage.
I missed taking a picture of the field of sunflowers I viewed on the way to one of our boating outings. There seemed to be 100s all opened wide and enjoying the sunshine. Each one looked like its own little version of the sun. I am not really an outdoorsy type person. I sunburn easily so it just seems like a chore to get all ready to be outside for any length of time. However, I try to remember to enjoy those few months of sunshine....trying to build up stamina for when I know we'll be indoors trying to avoid the cold and darkness of winter.
A few weeks later, we drive by the same field. Apparently, sunflower season is over. The same sunflowers that were so perky last drive by, are hanging their heads and starting to wither/dry up. Our family historically has not handled the lack of sunshine well. As leaves change and fall and darkness seems to come earlier and earlier, sadness seems to descend and tempers can flare. We're not as perky. We've found ways to adapt, but I still am not real fond of the upcoming time of the lack of sunshine.
I have come to realize that recognizing the problem for what it is, is half the battle. Remembering that emotions are stronger than I like and some overwhelmingly float to the top. Fighting the good fight is still worth it. We don't fight alone. Jesus was sent into the world to help us overcome darkness, physically and mentally. Remembering to let him help....is the other half of the battle.
After the darkness and the winter, the sunflowers will be back, reaching again toward the sun. We will too and we'll reach toward the Son through it all.