Updated: Apr 20, 2022
But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its rays. And you will go out and frolic like well-fed calves. Malachi 4:2 (NIV)
Healing…2021 was meant to be a year of collective healing. Or so I thought. After 2020 being a year of pruning, I thought 2021 would be a year of healing (see: A Year of Pruning|Creekside Covenant Church (ecreekside.com). For me, the light at the end of the tunnel during the pandemic felt like it would be the availability of the vaccine allowing for open travel, meals with various other people, and in-person church and Bible studies to name a few of my favorite things.
However, as the year ends, the familiar dread and frustration of this pandemic is settling in. Christmas festivities are again a bit dampened by the new, albeit seemingly mild, variant. There are more friends and family testing positive for Covid, more quarantines, more labor shortages at work, et cetera. It feels like a bad loop.
I am not sure how I stumbled upon this verse In Malachi, but with the dawn of the new year, it felt fitting. There are two points in this verse that stand out to me: The first, whose name do I revere? And the second, who is timing the “rise” of the “sun of righteousness”?
At a Christmas trivia night, I learned there are four prophets in the Old Testaments that prophesy directly about the Messiah. Malachi was one of them. When reading this verse out loud, “sun” and “son” sound interchangeable. Therefore, the “sun of righteousness” can easily be seen as Jesus, whose name I should and attempt to revere (“to regard with awe, deference, and devotion”).
What I love about this imagery, is that in a new dawn, God’s rays bring healing to me. All I am called to do is to bask in it. Even plants grow and reach towards whatever rays of light are present! However, what I find myself constantly doing, is getting distracted by other lights at the end of the tunnel. The vaccine for example, or that vacation time at the end of the month, or even knowing that I am not on-call; these are all good things no doubt but fleeting!
Which brings me to my second thought, who is timing this new dawn? Not me! The length of this tunnel, we do not know. But the rays of light that penetrate with healing show up in His time. Whether physical or emotional or spiritual, the healing is dependent on His time.
These points may be obvious to you; for me, they have been a good reminder. Through Jesus, whom we celebrate, adore, and devote this season, comes a new dawn of healing even if some days we might feel like we are just in its fringes of light. And it happens in His time—we must reach for His light. Then, as silly as it sounds, there will be some point when we will frolic and celebrate!
So here’s to a new dawn, a forever light at the end of the tunnel that does bring healing. Happy New Year, Creekside!