There’s a meme out there about the saying “when life gives you lemons…”, and it shows a lemon, cut in half, with close to no juice inside. And sometimes it feels like that, especially recently. Sometimes it’s just hard to even look at life, let alone try to make sense of it all.
I absolutely love Psalms. There’s some well-known verses in that book, and many of them are perfect for times when comfort and strength are so needed. One of my favorites is Psalm 84:11. (So much of a favorite that I even drew a picture to go with it.)
For the Lord God is a sun and a shield. The Lord bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly.Psalm 84:11
There’s a lot there. Enough to talk about for way longer than anyone wants to read. But focus on the first verse. A sun and a shield. That’s quite the picture when you really think about it. God being the sun, shining no matter what. At the same time, standing in front of us, an indestructible and unmovable shield.
In personal moments or in moments that affect the world, it’s easy to forget. It feels like the sun disappears and that shield goes crumbling down, leaving us exposed, hurting, and at times, angry. Sometimes it’s literally dark.
But. There’s another verse in Psalms that speak to this exact thing.
Even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you. Psalm 119:12
Even in darkness. Even when it seems impossible. He is still our sun. Our God is light. In Him there is no darkness at all. (1 John 1:5) Does that mean we will never walk through physical or mental darkness? Psalm 23 says we will, but when we do, we will fear no evil.
Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. Psalm 23:4 (NIV)
For He is with us. It takes opening our eyes to that, to believe that He is there, even when our physical eyes can only see dark. And it is dark, y’all. It’s everywhere, and again, with our physical eyes, it’s hard to see the light. But that’s when we have to open the Scriptures and read these verses that are promises to us. They are not just to David, to the disciples, to the early church. They are to all who believe.
For at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true). Ephesians 5:8-9
Life may still give you lemons with about an ounce of juice. The lemons may even be rotten or you may be reaching for them and they end up falling on the street and getting run over by a car. But hallelujah, when all that’s left of those lemons is a yellow mess on the road, we can raise our heads and look to our sun. He’s always shining.