Snoopy, in Charles Schulz’ Peanuts cartoons, sits on top of his kennel and types, ‘It was a dark and stormy night’.

If you live in the south of the UK at the moment you might be forgiven for thinking that not only are the nights dark and stormy but the days too. Rain, relentless rain. By contrast the typhoon that swept Japan’s islands yesterday was swift and short-lived –  though with devastating results.

Perhaps the rain and darkness reflect your feelings at the moment. Are you going through a long dark patch when the metaphorical sun seems hidden above the oppressive blanket of grey? Are life’s circumstances draining you of energy, smiles and hope? Have you had to face a short but very sharp cloudburst that’s devastated you? We know that beyond the glowering clouds in the sky is the sun with its warmth and light which even now shines on Japan after the typhoon.

Through the darkest days and in the dark nights of the soul, we wait for the sun to emerge again. But there is more. What we can see is not all that there is. For the Christian believer, there is hope even in the gloomiest times. In Psalm 139 David comments to God, “Even darkness is not dark for you, and the night is as bright as the day. Darkness and light are the same to you.” In John’s vision of heaven we read that, for believers, the Lord God will be their light. Meanwhile, God holds onto you in the darkness and through the rain of your tears, empathising with you in your need.


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