Some people are really SAD in the winter months for they suffer from what has been called “Seasonal Affective Disorder” due to a lack of sunlight. Those who have severe cases often require some sort of light therapy to get them through the “winter blues.” The farther north you live the shorter the daylight hours in the winter and even during daylight hours there can often be cloudy or foggy weather. Some go to work in the dark and come home in the dark and may work where they don’t even get to be in the sunlight during the day. This can often lead to depression and other actual physical symptoms. Our bodies require exposure to the sun to stay healthy and encouraged. One of the major needs of our body is the vitamin D which we get from sunlight.
Obviously the same is true spiritually. We need consistent exposure to the Son through His Word and time spent with Him. Lack of “Son-light” can cause depression, spiritual complacency, and all sorts of other difficulties. Just as our physical bodies need exposure to the sun, our spiritual lives need exposure to God’s Son on a regular basis. Someone said that “Seven days without prayer makes one weak!” So does a neglect of God’s Word and Christian fellowship with other believers. That’s why the writer of Hebrews exhorted: “And let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more, as you see the day (of His return) drawing near” (Heb. 10:24,25).
But, while “Seasonal Affective Disorder” is a very real thing, praise God, so is “Seasonal Order,” for, even though it sometimes seems to come a bit late, spring has always followed winter because God, who is the “God of order” (I Cor. 14:33) made it that way. When after the world-wide flood, Noah built an altar to the LORD and made sacrifices unto Him, we read that “The LORD smelled the soothing aroma; and the LORD said to Himself, ‘I will never again curse the ground on account of man, for the intent of man’s heart is evil from his youth; and I will never again destroy every living thing, as I have done. While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease” (Gen. 8:20-22). We are so accustomed to the regularity of the seasons and the various time-constraints of nature (eg., the length of the day and the year), we rarely stop to think how important all this is. When the sun goes down each evening, we are not disturbed, because we know it will rise the next morning; when winter settles over the hemisphere, we are confident that the spring will return in due time. (It may be snowing here today, March 28, but our spring flowers are also up and the snow banks are almost gone from the yard)!
If it were not so, life would be extremely difficult. Science and knowledge, which are based on the assumption that like causes produce like effects, would be impossible. These basic physical constants (the earth’s rotation controlling the length of the day, the earth’s orbit controlling the year, and the earth’s axial inclination controlling the seasons), in turn, control most other physical and biological processes on the earth. Scientists, however, have no explanation as to why these constants are what they are. There is no better answer than that they are gifts of God’s grace–the God who is the “God of order.”
As a matter of fact, this present uniformity of nature dates only from the end of the great Noahic Flood, which marked a tremendous discontinuity in the processes of nature as they had functioned previously. God’s promise to Noah of post-Flood continuity, as quoted above, has been kept faithfully now for more than 4,000 years.
All of God’s wonderful creation gives a daily testimony to His faithfulness. On his missionary journey through Asia Minor, Paul stopped in Lystra (where he was stoned and left for dead) and addressed the idol worshipers there, saying: “…you should turn from these vain things to a living God who made the heaven and the earth and the sea, and all that is in them…and He did not leave Himself without witness, in that He did good and gave you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness” (Acts 14:15,17), and we should thank Him for it!
Praise God for the reliability of Nature because, not only was it created by our all-wise, all-powerful, all-loving Creator-Redeemer, Jesus Christ, but it is sustained by Him. He holds it all together and makes sure it continues to operate in an orderly, predictable fashion. “For by Him (Christ) all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities–all things have been created by Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and by Him all things hold together” (Col. 1:16,17). Because of that, we are guaranteed of “seasonal order.” We know that the sun will come up each day and we know that spring will eventually follow winter each year.
If our God can order His universe and this special planet earth on which we live in such a fashion, we can surely trust Him with ordering our lives. Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, gave us this advice: “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight” (Pro. 3:5,6). Put God first in your life and He will make the course of your life successful (spiritually). After all, He is the “God of order.” Let Him give order to your life today. No matter how smart you may be, He knows best–even Solomon knew that. (Unfortunately he didn’t always live by that and ended up writing of his experiences in the book of Ecclesiastes).