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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Appreciation by contrast

"You are my lamp, O Lord," enthused King David, going on to declare that "the Lord lightens my darkness" (2 Samuel 22:29).

Millennia later, American author Og Mandino (1923-1996) had this to say on the subject of light and dark: "I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness because it shows me the stars." 

How many of our blessings do we notice and appreciate only in contrast? That dagger of sunlight following days of downpour, the return of appetite after a stomach bug, the absence of oppressive humidity following a cleansing thunderstorm. The list goes on.

Finding those points of light in the darkness can be both startling and life-changing. It's been said that we never truly appreciate what we have until we risk losing it. Or what else we have until after we've lost what we had thought was indispensible.

The one loss I feared I could never endure was that of my job. Until, that is, the employment I had taken for granted for 31 years was yanked from beneath me by a midafternoon summons to the human resources department more than four years ago. Informed that my editorial position had been eliminated, I was escorted to the door, forced to rely on someone else to grab my purse and coat.

Knowing God as I do, I shouldn't have been surprised to recognize almost immediately that the change would be just right for me. Already that night in the darkness I spied the star.

When have you recognized a blessing in the light of a contrast? 


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