From Dusk to Dawn

As we stood there together at the water’s edge on a December night looking out over the horizon, I was reminded of God’s faithfulness. Although the sun had dipped below the skyline and darkness was settling in, we could glimpse the scattered orange rays of sunlight breaking in through the clouds. It was rare to stand and hold our gaze comfortably for as long as we did, yet a break in the wintry cold afforded 65-degree conditions that evening.

Despite the gloom and chill of the current pandemic, God’s goodness and beauty still prevail. It may take planning some quality outdoor time with the family to see it, but His favor will soon penetrate the horizon. Amid the barrage of masks, social distancing, handwashing, and, for many, seclusion, the lingering light of God reminds us that a new day will rise on our lives, this nation, and our world once again.

Although we navigate a wilderness terrain, we can meet 2021 with hope and assurance at the turn of a new year. Many, nestled in for the holidays, missing the usual coveted time with loved ones and friends, will experience the biting chill of loneliness. Perhaps we can find consolation in the example of Jesus, who often, even intentionally, ventured into the secluded wilderness to commune with His heavenly Father: “But Jesus often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer” (Luke 5:16, NLT). In the quiet, on His own before the Father, He found tranquility and restoration of soul for the journey ahead.

Standing at the cusp of a brand-new year, the murk and bitter pale of the sick and broken may loom over us, but there is hope beyond the horizon, breaking-in even now. Loneliness and separation from familiar faces may threaten us to despair; still, we need not walk this wilderness alone. Indeed, now may be the very time He is calling us to seek Him in the quiet place, to ready ourselves for what dreary, wintry conditions may lie ahead, and to assure us that a new day is dawning once again.

Published by Paul J. Palma

Paul J. Palma is a professor of Christian history and theology at Regent University. He is the author of the books "Embracing Our Roots: Rediscovering the Value of Faith, Family, and Tradition," "Italian American Pentecostalism and the Struggle for Religious Identity" (Routledge Studies in Religion series), and the forthcoming "Grassroots Pentecostalism in Brazil and North America: Migrations, Missions, and Mobility" (Palgrave Macmillan). He is also a contributing writer for CBN.com. Paul enjoys spending quality time with his family on walks together, going to the beach, fishing, and work around the yard.

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