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I am sitting on the porch this morning to read my devotional because it is so pleasantly warm for mid-February!

From where I am sitting on the west corner of the porch, I cannot see the sun in the sky—it is obscured by the house and the roof above the porch.  If I try to look directly at the sun, I see only darkness.

But if I turn away from the sun, because I cannot see it where I expected to, and instead look on the trees and grasses in the field to the west of our house, I can see that, though the rest of the yard is still draped in shadows, these trees are ablaze with the bright light of morning.

I cannot see the sun, but I can see the things on which it has shone.

Similarly, there are plenty of times in life when I can’t really see God at work—at least not where I expect Him to be.  All I see is obfuscation and shadows right in front of me.  But if I turn and survey the landscape, looking for God not just from my own vantage point but rather as though through mirrors, I can see His light and beauty reflected all around me—in His creation, in His children, in the voice of a songbird, the gentle rushing of the creek, the joy of a child, the warmth of a timely hug.

These things don’t serve to mock my time in the darkness—at least I don’t believe they are intended to—they are there to call me out of it.  Even on my darkest days when I murmur in my heart against the God I cannot see, He still weaves strands of light into the fabric of my days, interlacing beauty and joy amidst the cords of darkness and despair.  Traces of His handiwork are all around me—if only I will look closely enough to see them.