From Ingrid’s Journal
Proverbs 20:27 “The lamp of the LORD searches the spirit of a man, it searches out his inmost being.”
Living in the north plays games with a gal’s psyche. Darkness falls around 4pm, the wind howls, the world frigid outside, and I dream of summer as the snow piles against my door.
And it brings me back to that summer the resort burned to the ground (I know my author Susan May Warren used her own experience watching her garage burn, and a summer of homelessness to write my feelings of despair in darkness.) I wondered how we might survive.
I sit on the front porch steps of our resort, listening to a choir of crickets sing to the sunset. I cradle a cup of tea in my hands, but it has long ago grown cold. All I can think about is our starving checking account, smell the creosote of the burned cabins that once provided our livelihood.
The memories, now in ash. Our home survived, but with our family scattered, perhaps this is the end of Evergreen resort. The end of a legacy.
The sun is gone, and I admit that with it falls my hope. Grayness settles over the lake. Suddenly I spy tiny lights flickering here and there. First dozens, then thousands. Fireflies! They dance in the velvet darkness, momentary explosions on a twilight canvass. I watch with delight, amazed at God’s brilliance and creativity.
Fireflies–bursts of light in the darkness. They flicker on and off as if tiny flashlights searching the fields. All at once, I hear the Lord whispering to me. He says He is searching for my faith. I realize that faith is like a firefly: a spurt of hope in a nighttime of discouragement.
Of course! Fireflies are always present, but they can be seen best at night, when the darkness surrounds them. Faith is a part of my every day existence, but it is most vivid, to myself and others, when life looks bleak. Do I have faith that radiates in the dark hour of worry, sorrow and disappointment? Will the Lord find in me a firefly faith?
I watch the show until pitch settles upon the fields. It seems the fireflies have gone to bed, and so must I. Before I leave the porch for the padding of a pillow, I pray and ask the Lord to make my faith swell and completely expunge the darkness of despair.
I ask the Keeper of the Light to keep me shining, to fill up my spirit with His power, by His grace.
“People are like stained glass windows; they sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light within.” Elizabeth Kubler-Ross
Simplify and Savor: Keep a journal this season – write it in your “Firefly moments” – current and past, as a testimony and reminder of God’s faith. Read it aloud to your family, or just yourself when life feels overwhelming!
Have you ever been encouraged by the faith you see in others? Encourage us with your story!
Thanks for reading!
Ingrid Christiansen and her amazing family are featured in Susan May Warren’s award-winning, best-selling series, The Christiansen Family. Her newest book, Evergreen: A Winter Novella is available now as an ebook or in Hardcover (which would make an excellent Christmas gift!)