I live in Ohio. In 2018, we got 166 sunny days. The national average is 205. So, us Ohioans are only graced with 45% of our lives filled with sunshine. The rest of the time, we have to remember it is still there. That's the challenge.
What is it about sunshine that changes the course of our day? Even if it's cold out, we still feel better if the sun is there. We want more of it. We want to be in it. We want it to fill us and warm us. We walk a little taller and have more bounce in our step, all because the sun is shining.
What about when it's not? Why is it such a battle for us on those gray days? Well, first there's always the physical side of it. It causes our body to create Vitamin D, which is great for our bones. It also increases our serotonin levels, or our happiness hormone. When this rises, we feel physically more peaceful and calm.
Recognizing the needs of our physical body is extremely important, but to me the presence of the sun, or not, runs even deeper. To me, the sun represents God. It's always there. It's a stable force of unfathomable light. It doesn't change or move. We are the ones doing all that. Every day, we rotate near it, but on some days, there's just a lot of clouds in between us and it. We may not be able to see it, but it's still there.
Our faith is the same way. Sometimes, we are really, really good at connecting to it. We have sunny days, where we see and feel God and we know he his working and present in our lives. Then, we have dark, dark days, where we question his presence. We don't understand the pain we are in. We can't see or feel him and we cry out in the darkness to bring the light back. Where did you go God and why did you foresake me?
When we aren't at one spectrum or the other, we sit in the gray days. We chart our own course, waiting for the sun to shine again. We muddle thru. We know God is still there, but we aren't necessarily feeling it, so we wait. Gray days are hard. Waiting is hard, but there's joy in it also. The trick is finding it.
I haven't conquered the gray days, or the waiting. I still prefer sunny days. I still feel better and "feel" God's presence more when the sunshine falls on me. However, the gray days teach me patience. They teach me to try harder. They teach me to remember that the sun is still there, even if I can't see it. They teach me that God hasn't left, but that our relationship works both ways. I need to stop expecting that my trust in him, relies solely on his "seen" presence and answers to my prayers. My trust in him exists no matter what the weather looks like. My trust is knowing, and I mean "knowing," that he is still there. It doesn't matter if the rain is pouring down. It doesn't matter if the night is black. It doesn't matter if the fog is thick, or the clouds are dense. He is still there and all you have to do is remember.
Angela Miller is a Professional Life Coach passionately pursuing her purpose to help others remember who they are and how to become their best self. For more information, visit www.soaringforward.com.