I will lead the blind by ways they have not known,
along unfamiliar paths I will guide them;
I will turn the darkness into light before them
and make the rough places smooth.
These are the things I will do;
I will not forsake them.

Isaiah 42:16 (NIV)


 I love springtime. I had no idea when we moved to the desert that this brown landscape would fill with color, each cactus with its own particular flower. One of my favorite tasks after the cold, dreary, dark winter months is to replenish my pots with brilliant blooms. This year they glow red, yellow, and white. It warms my heart to look out on the courtyard and see them waving in the breeze.

This has been an especially dark year with only glimpses of light: not only in my house but those of my family and friends, and even our nation. Once again, bombs in Boston rock our security and bring destruction to families. The consequences of those acts of violence will last forever.

A friend struggles with the darkness of separation and divorce. Children are confused and angry, grandparents shuffle children between meeting spots wondering how did it get to this, friends are caught in the middle.

Depression has sucked Mark back into the pit over and over this year. There’s lots of talk about mental illness these days but for those who suffer from it, talk is cheap. New laws will not help and those who love them, watch and wait, hoping for a new treatment or medication to help them out of the darkness.

Hope is my word for 2013. Without hope, there is no reason to go on. However, God is faithful to His promise to “turn the darkness into light and make the rough places smooth.” I know that He does this for me, usually in ways that I might not choose, but the outcome is for my hope and future. Because my hope is in Him, I will be thankful for today, waiting with anticipation for what is just around the corner.