Punxutawney Phil may run and hide when he sees his shadow, but we should have no reason to hide from the light of the Son, our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ.
by Sally Bair
On Feb. 2, we celebrate the 132nd anniversary of Groundhog’s Day. It all started in the early 1800s when each February 2nd, Candlemas Day, residents of the town of Punxutawney, PA, watched to see if any wild animals came out of hibernation. If an animal saw its shadow from the sun, it meant six more weeks of winter. If no shadow, it meant an early spring. An interesting way to predict the weather. Eventually the people of Punxutawney chose a mascot, one of the plentiful groundhogs in that region. Today one of them is kept safe in its own house, and wakened each Feb. 2nd, to offer its prediction.
The day has become a national, perhaps worldwide, week-long celebration. Among many interesting events, this year’s celebration will feature the Phind Phil Scavenger Hunt for kids and a Phantastic Phil Walking Tour. The annual trek has blossomed into a major event, resulting in the Groundhog Club, of which thousands of people claim membership.
Celebration aside, many of us may feel like hibernating, like Punxutawney Phil, during our long winters. More darkness, too much cold air, snow, and ice sap our energy and drag our spirit. No wonder we think about huddling under a quilt for more hours than we should. Oh, to be a groundhog, ducking into a hole to sit out the season!
We may experience reasons other than the weather to hide out. Perhaps we feel like retreating in fear over a negative circumstance or a challenge we face. Or perhaps we sense the dark cloud of defeat because of a failure or disappointment. We may become so used to the darkness in our lives that we can’t stand the light that flickers not quite close enough to beckon us to step out into it.
God has the solution for our winter doldrums. Instead of retreating into our emotional caves He offers the light of His Word. “It is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” (2 Corinthians 4:6) Even as God commanded the light to shine in the darkness at creation, He turns on the light in our hearts so we can see who He is.
“I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness.” (John 12:46)
Lord, we don’t want to cling to darkness, like Punxsutawney Phil might do on Feb. 2nd. Turn our fears to faith so we will see Your light through Your Word and walk in it. In Jesus’ name, amen.