In northern Chile, between the Andes Mountains and the Pacific Ocean, lies a narrow strip of land where the sun shines every day! Clouds gather so seldom over the valley that one can say, “It almost never rains here!” Morning after morning the sun rises brilliantly over the tall mountains to the east. Each noon it shines brightly overhead, and every evening it brings a picturesque sunset. Although storms are often seen rising high in the mountains, and heavy fog banks hand their gray curtains far over the sea, Old Sol continues to shed his warming rays upon this “favored” and protected strip of territory. One might imagine this area to be an earthly paradise, but is far from that! It is a sterile and desolate wilderness! There are no streams of water, and nothing grows there.
We often long for total sunshine and continuous joy in life, and we desire to avoid the heartaches that bring tears to our eyes. Like that sunny, unfertile part of Chile, however, life without clouds and even an occasional downpour would not be productive or challenging. Even in the midst of our struggles we can meaningfully live God‚Äôs invitation for us to ‚Äúpick up your cross and follow me‚Äù. Though the showers do pour, they will also end, and the sun will shine again. “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.” (Psalm 30:5). In Jn 16:21, Jesus said: “Whenever a woman is in labor she has pain, because her hour has come; but when she gives birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish because of the joy that a child has been born into the world. So through all your struggles and pain, BE NOT AFRAID.