I awaken this morning at dusk to a steel-grey sky that shrieks of icy coldness. It’s dull and dreary, and as I approach the back door, the frigid temperature from outside permeates the glass, wafting me with a blast of cool air. The patio, clothed in a fresh layer of ice, confirms Winter is with us still. I shudder as a deep sense of impending gloom steals over me.
With a steaming hot cup of tea in hand, I settle in to read my daily devotional, but am immediately chilled by the opening sentence. “You will be wounded” says the author, referring to spiritual warfare—not a new concept to me, I’ve faced those attacks in the past. Nevertheless, a clear reminder that evil is an ever-present danger in our world.
I think how timely this topic of battle and fighting is, as reality reminds me that just last night Russia declared war on Ukraine—and rages as I write this. War is brutal and devastating. People will be wounded, maimed and killed. Innocent civilians will be casualties, sadly referred to by some as collateral damage. Anguish and suffering will reign where there once was peace. War has far-reaching consequences—long after the violence and bloodshed ends. I feel cold deep within. I pray. The Lord is my refuge.
Soon, my thoughts drift to a different scene—one of daffodils on a wooded hillock. It’s a welcome vision from the past—an image I captured while walking in Dorset in February 2018. It was one month after my father’s death, I was still grieving and somewhat overwhelmed. Whenever I feel unsettled by worldly things I seek solitude, a oneness with nature, for it’s where I feel the closest to God. There, my soul finds peace, clarity in the moment, and hope beyond worldly troubles.
It was cold and gloomy that day, just as it is today, but as I walked, the sun came out of hiding, and swaths of blue sky appeared, raising my spirits. Along the wooded path, a bank of beautiful daffodils suddenly appeared, their yellow blooms bobbing gently in the wintry breeze. Their trumpets beckoned me as if to say come dance with us and cast your cares away. And so I did—I joined them, walked in their midst, brushed against them, captured their beauty and their silent song.
I am so happy I did, for the image of that scene is permanently captured on film and engraved in my memory. Revisiting the daffodils today, in sight and memory, I feel a calming joy, in a world where death, disaster, and destruction wreak havoc.
Woodland daffodils are among the very first flowers to emerge from the snow of winter, penetrating the gloom like a ray of sunshine! They symbolize resilience, rebirth, memories, forgiveness—joy and hope. Whenever I feel overwhelmed by worldly circumstances, I pray and I seek strength from my savior. I rest my soul in Jesus. To me, He is eternal life and hope of the world.
How about you? In sunshine or in gloom, in what, or in whom, do you place your hope for the world?
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble