Light Amidst the Darkness
It’s rare for us to experience total darkness. Think about it, we have streetlights and at night in our bedrooms gearing up for bed, there are tiny lights that we’ve grown to ignore like the power light on the TV and smoke alarm. When we are outdoors, we have the moon, the stars and their reflections bounce off objects like a path or a lake. Light is always in our lives; we just have grown to overlook it. Within the first three verses in the first book of the Bible, God created light. He saw a void, a need, and filled it.
“Now the Earth was formless and empty, darkness… and God said, “Let there be light” and there was light” (Genesis 1:2–3).
God spoke, and light appeared. When you begin a project and create a “to-do” list, you always do the most important tasks first; it is the foundation of your project that is always visible. For example, in school what is the first thing we do? We put our name at the top right corner, this is the most vital part of the project- no name, no credit! God saw the world needed light and wrote it on the top right corner to always be seen.
When we are having spiritual highs, standing firm and tall in our mountain top seasons, we feel so close to the light, it brings us warmth and God’s presence is so prominent in our lives. A common prayer prayed among many asks him to equip us with the tools we need to walk the path and life He has laid out for us. When we enter a valley season, it feels sudden, darkness surrounds us, and we can’t see. We can’t see why we are in this season, don’t understand the value of the wilderness and feel distant from God. When you’re in a room and the lights suddenly go off, you can’t see, not even your hand in front of your face. You feel hopeless, helpless and that sight has failed you.
God has equipped us with everything we need for every season, not just when we are thriving, but we have the tools to endure, persist and grow during the challenging seasons. God thinks of everything, He amazes me constantly. Even in a dark room with no light, God gave us rhodopsin, which is found in our rods in our eyes that provide vision in low light. When light hits a certain molecule in your retina, the light activates rhodopsin and sets off a series of chemical reactions; long explanation turned short, when this chemical is released, our eyes are able to adapt and see in low levels of light and partial darkness. The rhodopsin is able to become sensitive to light and improve our night vision, but this process can take a few minutes. Think back to a time where you were surrounded by lights and then all of a sudden it went dark. You could have been on a night hike or the room you were in had a blackout. Your first instinct is to panic because you can’t see, you were happy and then in a moment, you were filled with anxiety or helplessness. As you settle in the darkness, you begin to be able to make out shapes; if you’re in a classroom, you can begin to see the outline of your classmates and the desks around you. If you’re out at night, the trees up ahead begin to distinguish themselves from others and the ground begins to appear more clearly. We will never be able to see crystal clear in a dark environment, however we have the tools to continue on, we have our hope and trust in our rhodopsin to kick in to make us aware of our surroundings. As you become comfortable with seeing in the dark, confidence builds and you are able to take strides instead of tiptoeing around, unsure of what is in front of you. Most of our experiences with darkness are not us experiencing total, but partial darkness. Earlier I mentioned the smallest lights that we have grown to overlook. Light is always present even when we can’t see it, we are never truly blind.
Just because you’re not on a mountain does not mean God’s light is out of reach or void in the valley.
We tend to take light for granted and undervalue the importance it has in our lives. God gave us life, and through him we can see, whether we are in the midst of a sunny afternoon or among the trees at night.
“God made two great lights- the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night” (Genesis 1:16).
Just as light reflects off of objects, God’s light bounces off us. His good light shines through us, through our actions and reactions.
“For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness” (Thessalonians 5:5).
There is a lot going on with the world today, even in our very own backyards. We can’t see the end, considering the pandemic, protests and now the attempt of closing the doors of our churches. We don’t understand the darkness but know God is here. His light is shining, are you ignoring it because you have become accustomed to not seeing the small lights amidst the dark? As the Israelites left all that they knew, where their ancestors called home, God guided them.
“By day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so they could travel by night. Neither the pillar of cloud nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people” (Exodus 13:21–22).
They had no idea what the future held, or even the next day. They were following Moses, a man of God, a man who demonstrated by his actions and faithfulness that the Almighty is light. The unknown is scary and questionable, but God delivers all that we need. For the Israelites, God supplied light during the night so they could continue on and a cloud during the day to guide them. Follow the light even when you can’t see everything clearly because the God that guided the Israelites is the God that will guide and deliver us from the darkness the enemy tries to convince us we are held captive in.
We are never alone but we are also never in the dark.