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Archive for January 14th, 2022

Until a few months ago, I had never heard of an atmospheric river. Apparently it is a narrow stream of a huge amount of water that travels through the sky … basically a river in the sky.

In my neck of the woods, such a river ran through my week and it brought with it the seasonal blues of the bleak winter season.

After more than a generation of life in the Pacific NorthWET, one would think that I would expect it, be prepared for it. And I am. I have had my ‘happy lamp’ plugged in and sitting on the floor by my desk since early December in anticipation of this annual crash … but have I turned in on yet?

As every year in January, every dark season, I simply awaken one morning and know that it is here, that the fight for joy is on. It is not the season to ‘keep calm and carry on’, but to

  • feel the heaviness, acknowledging it is real
  • tell those closest to you (for support and so they don’t feel they are to blame)
  • consciously put what believe into practice
  • repeat the promises
  • remember God’s presence
  • pray without ceasing … like all day, everyday

For those who might need it, take a sick day from work … sick isn’t just a fever. Health is much broader than that. Do something that makes you feel good … buy a new book, get your hair done, book a massage, go for a walk, pick up your favorite bevy, run a bubble bath, pick up your paints … do something that externally brings you joy … the internal will come!

For those who need them, here are a few verses, promises I go to (in my mind and out loud, ALL DAY LONG):

I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself.” Jeremiah 31:3

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6

“And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:20

“Trust in the Lord. Have faith, do not despair. Trust in the Lord” Psalm 27:14

As the dark day was coming to a close, the atmospheric river dried up, the clouds parted as the setting sun peeked out, bringing light and colors across the sky in a most glorious display.

Though the dark, seasonal cloud still settled over my being, this display of light brought the hope I’d been whispering through the Word all day long. Though these inner atmospheric rivers will continue to rain down on me for days and weeks to come, I was reminded that joy is not the absence of trouble, but real joy is found in the midst of it. That is the promise, that is the difference when walking in the dark with the light of the world.

You go before me and follow me.
    You place your hand of blessing on my head.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
    too great for me to understand!

I can never escape from your Spirit!
    I can never get away from your presence!
 If I go up to heaven, you are there;
    if I go down to the grave, you are there.
If I ride the wings of the morning,
    if I dwell by the farthest oceans,
even there your hand will guide me,
    and your strength will support me.
 I could ask the darkness to hide me
    and the light around me to become night—
  but even in darkness I cannot hide from you.
To you the night shines as bright as day.
    Darkness and light are the same to you.

Psalm 139:5-12

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