It’s been over a year since we’ve embarked on a journey to explore the laws of health and we’re now on our last one: The law of sunshine!
“Truly the light is sweet, and a pleasant thing it is for the eyes to behold the sun.” Ecclesiastes 11:7.
It might seem strange to talk about the law of sunshine as we’re approaching winter, but, even though the seasons change, the sun remains constant, and we’ re even in more need of it when the weather gets cooler. In the winter we need all the help we can get to keep our immune system strong so it can fight against diseases.
The sun is the most essential element of life on our planet and it’s a mediator of all life on earth. No life can exist or function without sunlight. Not only does it produce light, but it’s also the source of 98% of the energy on earth, producing heat and causing many reactions necessary for life.
Most important, sunlight is the force which nourishes and energizes your body. As you get outside to get sunlight you are also benefitting by receiving another important law of health – fresh air! Sunshine helps your red blood cells carry more oxygen, which supports your respiration, circulation and all your body organs… this is what gives your body vital power. Without it you grow week and the body declines faster, but we can do much to delay this decline and be imbued with the vitalizing power of the sun! Exposure to sunlight not only helps boost your immunity by stimulating the production of white blood cells and vitamin D, but also helps reduce swelling and high blood pressure. Let not the cold weather deter you from getting outside. The key is to dress warmly and put on the right gear, and the cold will not be a deterrent, but you’ll be equipped to receive the rays of light even on the coldest days. I find sometimes that the sun shines brightest on the coldest days.
The sun and all its life giving and health enhancing properties is a beautiful illustration of the Son of God and all that He wants to impart to us through His presence and promises. Years ago I came across a book called Firebird by Brent McCorkle and Amy Parker. I often it to read to my daughter when she was young, and just recently pulled it out when my 4 year old niece came for a visit. We read it over and over and over again as she could not get enough of it. I believe there is something about the book that resonates with both young and old. The spiritual lessons have stayed with me ever since I first read it and it has inspired me again to ponder it more deeply.
The book is about a baby bird, an oriole named Firebird. Firebird loved the sunshine, but would complain to his mom when the rains came. He thought that God let the rain and storms take away the sun. Then one day, when a huge storm rolled in, Firebird’s mom encouraged him to fly all the way up through the stormy clouds, and thunderings and lightening, to see what he would find. And what did he find? He found the sun, shining more brightly than ever.
This is a lesson that can help us in our Christian walk. Just like clouds can obstruct our view of the sun, there are things that can cover our view of “the Sun of Righteousness” (Malachi 4:2). But we must remind ourselves that He is always there. He is the one constant thing that we can stake our lives on. I have learned that there are blessings to be experienced in the storms and clouds of life. We are called to rise to higher ground, we are called to challenge our wings and rise up until we can break through the clouds and see His beautiful face brightening and ennobling our countenance.
“Oh, send out Your light and Your truth!
Let them lead me;
Let them bring me to Your holy hill
And to Your tabernacle.
Why are you cast down, O my soul?
And why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God;
For I shall yet praise Him,
The help of my countenance and my God.”
Even on the cloudiest days, when we are too weak to rise up and break through the clouds, God sends his rays of light to brighten and to help our countenance and to lead us ever closer to His side. But we must at least make the effort to behold Him, to look up. In those trying moments if “our inner beholdings be not hindered we shall be surprised by sudden lightenings” (Amy Carmicheal, Gold By Moonlight).
Would we ever venture higher or seek His face were it not for the clouds and storms of life? Even if clouds do block some of the visible light from coming through, there are ultraviolet rays that still make their way to earth. No matter how hard the devil tries to block the Son from our view, He can never fully obstruct Him. We must remember that clouds are transitory. We must also remember that God is the God of clouds and not just the sunlight. He led the Israelites by a pillar of cloud and, sometimes He may see fit to lead us by a cloud. There is always a lesson, always a purpose in all things… even in the clouds.
In Ministry of Healing, Ellen White speaks of the discipline of trial using figurative language to describe how a bird learns a new song and thereby how we must learn too.
In the full light of day, and in hearing of the music of other voices, the caged bird will not sing the song that his master seeks to teach him. He learns a snatch of this, a trill of that, but never a separate and entire melody. But the master covers the cage, and places it where the bird will listen to the one song he is to sing. In the dark, he tries and tries again to sing that song until it is learned, and he breaks forth in perfect melody. Then the bird is brought forth, and ever after he can sing that song in the light. Thus God deals with His children. He has a song to teach us, and when we have learned it amid the shadows of affliction we can sing it ever afterward. (Ministry of Healing, pg.472)
My dear firebirds, do not let your hearts be discouraged. Our Saviour is trying to teach us a new song, and how to more fully rejoice and experience the deepest joys and triumphs of faith. It is why we must be careful to not let the cares of this world blind our path forward and up, for “the path of the just is like the shining sun that shines ever brighter unto the perfect day” (Proverbs 4:18). We have an eternity of perfect days to look forward to. No matter what we experience on this earth, heaven will be cheap enough.
On the book’s back cover it asks this question? “What if God’s love were like the sun, constant and unchanging? What if one day you realized nothing could take that away?” May God help us to live in the reality of this truth and reflect this truth to others, not only receiving its benefits, but imparting it to others.