Seeing the Light in a Wintry Season
Michelle Marie Hernandez
December 15, 2013
Seeing the Light in a Wintry Season

Winter sun rays

Although winter can be a joyous time of year, it also brings special challenges—cold weather, dangerous traveling conditions, extra expenses, etc. The holidays can be especially difficult for individuals who have recently endured major losses. Some people suffer from additional health problems such as the flu and seasonal affective disorder (winter blues).

You can actually experience wintry seasons in life year round as a result of emotional pain, illness, loss, and other trials.  If things seem dark or dreary right now, don’t despair. A brighter season is on the way.

God promises to not leave His people in darkness. Psalm 112:4 says, “When darkness overtakes the godly, light will come bursting in.” In the winter, which is naturally characterized by less daylight, and in every season of your life, you have God’s Word as a lamp to your feet and a light to your path (Psalm 119:105).

Following are some tips to help you see the light, even in wintry seasons:

Read and meditate on God’s Word. When surrounded by troubles of any kind, one of the best things you can do is immerse yourself in God’s Word, which brings courage, healing, hope, and refreshment. The truth protects and delivers you from anything that tries to hinder or oppress you. Your faith will increase as you hear God’s Word, so it’s good to read it out loud, too (Romans 10:17).

Thank God for your blessings. Gratitude shifts your focus from what you don’t have to what you do have. For example, you may not have the strength you did in the past, but your strength is increasing—thanks to the rest you’re getting. Expressing your appreciation will make you and everyone who hears it feel good.

Listen to calming or uplifting music. Music has therapeutic effects on people. Listening to instrumental hymns or sounds of nature can ease anxiety and tension. Praise and worship music can uplift even the most downtrodden soul. You don’t have to just listen either—you can sing along!

Talk to the right people. Telling someone what you’re going through can help you see the light at the end of the tunnel. You may need counsel or just someone to listen and encourage you. If you’re already feeling down, avoid talking to pessimistic people. Seek out those who have a knack for brightening people’s day.

Reach out to others for help. Feeling overwhelmed and hopeless for an extended time can lead to depression and despair. Reach out to others who can help you when you need it. Establish a strong support system and let those involved lighten your load. You may also benefit from the professional assistance that a physician, psychologist, or psychiatrist can provide.

Nourish your body with what is good. You might crave sugary, processed, carbohydrate-heavy foods when you’re feeling down. However, food like this will only make you feel worse in the long run as it can elevate blood sugar levels, cholesterol, weight, etc. Choose natural, healthy foods instead. Since deficiencies in key nutrients like vitamin D can affect your mood, energy level, and overall well-being, it’s important to also supplement your diet with quality vitamins.

Take a break. Taking a break from your busy schedule or from an overwhelming situation can give you a new perspective. A break can be a 30-minute nap or a movie night after a long week. If you work in an office with no windows, get away from your desk during lunch. Spend time outside—sunlight is the best natural source of vitamin D. Drive to a nearby city for a change of scenery, or if you need a longer break, take a trip to a region with warm, sunny weather.

Do something good for yourself and for others. The Bible tells us to do good at all times. The good we do can be for ourselves or others.  If you enjoy taking a warm bath or cuddling up on the couch with a novel and a cup of hot tea, then do so often. Calling a friend or visiting a loved one in a nursing home can cheer up both of you.

Journal. Like music, writing can also be therapeutic. Writing may help you process and validate your feelings. When you write the truth about your situation, your thoughts, feelings, and eventually your behaviors will change for the better. What you pen in your darkest hour might be a beacon of hope for others going through similar trials in the future.

I am so thankful that “the light shines in darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:5). Because I’ve seen the light, I write these words to you. Do you have a tip to share that will help others see and focus on the light this winter?


  1. Clara Wassom

    Wonderful message Michelle. So many suffer from depression, especially during the holiday season. This gives them help and hope. He is the light.

    • Michelle Marie Hernandez

      I wrote this message to help others. So many people struggle with the same things we do. I love how Da’dra Crawford Greathouse took authority while leading praise and worship yesterday at Lakewood Church in Houston. She prayed for the congregation to be free from the spirit of depression. Amen!