It’s amazing how the Lord knows us so well. He knew that today, I needed the sun. After over a week of solid rain in Bologna, and a few personal discouragements along the way, I was becoming desperate for the sun to shine in the city and in my heart.
You never realize how much you take for granted little things in life like the sun. It’s warmth on your cheeks, the unique shadows it casts, the little sun beams that shine through the trees. What an incredible creation it is! The sun’s Creator must have known that it’s purpose would be for so much more then just warming the earth. It’s Creator must have known the joy that it would bring to His other creations. He must have known that it would symbolize joy and peace. He must have known that it would reflect His image.
I realize that I may be beginning to sound like a broken record, but I myself do not want to miss what my Creator is teaching me during my time here in Italy. Today, I simply stood in the sun. I watched the shadows it casted upon the old Italian buildings, I soaked in the warmth it laid upon my body despite the crisp fall air, and I admired the way it brought people outside their homes to sit on park benches. I don’t think that I would have ever done this until coming to the place where I am realizing all I miss when I don’t slow down. Not only that, but also what I take for granted so often in everyday life.
Sometimes when all there seems to be is rain, we wonder if we will ever be in the place where we can simply stand in the sun again. A phrase in 2 Corinthians 4 that I have been clinging to this past week is, “Do NOT lose heart”. Paul repeats it twice in the same chapter and my belief is that he wants to encourage us in the times of rain. Do not lose heart. Do not lose heart. Do not lose heart. What does it look like to not lose heart?
I believe that Paul gave us a glimpse of what it may look like in three verses: 2 Corinthians 4:16-18: “So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”
All our difficulties and struggles are temporary and transient. They are not lasting, only here for a short time, and impermanent. And soon enough, if we have placed our faith in Christ, we too will be separated from all the trials on this earth and will stand with the Son.
What I want to learn from all God has showed me these past few days is two different things: First, continue to be sure to take time to simply chase the sun. With so many buildings in Bologna, I had to weave my way through the shaded ally ways to find the place where I could stand the directly in the sun rays. It was worth it to soak in the moment and allow the Maker of the universe to minister to my heart through His creation. Second, do not lose heart. It is almost inevitable that after the rain, the sun will shine. We may have to wait patiently for it, but in the midst of waiting do not lose heart.