When I visit White Lake, NC in the summer, I soak up the sunshine. Living in a northern state, I don’t enjoy the benefits of this kind of sunlight and vitamin D. I’m already feeling happier and stronger by just sitting in the sunshine for several days. The whole atmosphere supports my joy.

Certain environments help the body naturally; it’s easier to thrive there. Other environments make it harder, and you have to work to create the same health benefits that come freely to others. I think about how we can ask ourselves what kind of atmosphere we’re in. Is this place good for our souls naturally or must we work even harder to create the right conditions to thrive? Sometimes we find ourselves in deficient locations and must overcompensate. If I’m somewhere without good Christian fellowship or in culture of temptation for example, I remember I’m not in a place of natural thriving. I must work harder to position myself sunward.

The atmosphere you’re in might breed despair, and your joy will build through prayer, Spirit-filled dependence, Bible reading, and serving. God knows where you are and why, even if the sun doesn’t shine as bright there.

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