It didn’t snow this week! For the first time in the two months that I have been in Rexburg, we had sunshine for more than one day during the week. In fact, we had sunshine almost every single day! People were wearing T-shirts, going to the park, and enjoying the sunshine. Even though the highs were only in the upper 30’s, it feels like a beautiful spring day when all you have been experiencing are gloomy, 15 degree days for the majority of the time. I believe that the things around us are often a reflection of the things that happen within us. This doesn’t necessarily mean that because it’s been gloomy for the past two months that my life has been horrible for the past two months. But it does mean that just like the weather, my life has times of gloom and times of sunshine. It also means that the God who created the earth, with all of its seasons and different weather patterns, also created me. And because of that knowledge, I can also be sure that God is aware of me. Sometimes this awareness seems so distant or, for the moment, gone. In fact, I have at certain times felt that God had forever abandoned me. But in those gloomy time, the sunshine always came back.
One of my favorite types of weather is rain. I love the way it makes the earth smell,the fact that it doesn’t stick around forever like snow, and the way that it makes everything clean again. I have seen rain when I have been happy, and sad, and elated, and angry. But I have specifically seen rain on almost every occasion in the last year when I have felt overwhelmingly sad. Now, maybe this is just a coincidence. But maybe it isn’t. Maybe God is saying “Shannon, I know you are sad. But I am here. I haven’t left you, and I never will.” Just like the rain always clears and the sun eventually comes out, those times of tremendous sadness and grief have consistently been replaced with joy and with peace. I can promise that God is saying this to each and everyone one of us. God is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34). This means that He loves everyone equally, and doesn’t see one person as greater than the next. If this wasn’t true why would I, a college student in a small town with a lowly job and no high calling in life, be given the aid of a God who had created all the earth? That doesn’t make sense. God knows ME, He loves ME, and He watches out for ME. And He does the same for every single person.
“If our lives and our faith are centered upon Jesus Christ and his restored gospel, nothing can ever go permanently wrong” (Teachings of Howard W. Hunter, p.46). I don’t know how to live a life without gloomy days. And I don’t know how to make the best of those gloomy days. But I do know that they end. That sunshine comes. And that things will always work out.