Our hike took us to a long tunnel through a hill. We were excited when we found it. An adventure! The kids stacked their bikes at the entrance and ran ahead chattering, exclaiming over things they found inside. Soon there was no more light behind us than there was ahead. As though on command we grew quiet. Hands reached out for support. Slowly we felt our way, hearts pounding, until we reached a place where we could see again.
I don’t like the dark, especially not in unfamiliar places. And the darkness that fills some corners of our world – it can be terrifying. I am afraid as I consider what might happen. My heart races, my hands clam up, I slow down and don’t know where to go; just like in that tunnel.
I was feeling like this when the opening verses of Genesis 1 came to mind. I’ve read it enough times to memorize it, and the words scrolled through my head:
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep.
In the beginning was a dark senseless muddle. Just like there is in our lives, sometimes. But
the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. And God said, ‘Let there be light’ and there was light. And God saw that the light was good.
We think of light and goodness as though they set the standard of how things should be. But we live in a fallen world. And light and goodness are things that come to us from God, just as they came to the waiting world from him.
St. John opened his gospel by applying Genesis 1 language to the coming of Christ. “The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world” — into darkness that cannot overcome it and to men who must receive it.
God brings light into darkness. It’s what he does. He did it physically in the beginning; he did it spiritually in Christ; and time is marching toward the day when both will come together in the new heaven and earth where there will be no darkness at all (read Revelation 21-22 and look for images of light).
There are many kinds of darkness: there’s sin. pain. uncertainty. betrayal. confusion. fear real and imagined. But God brings light into OUR darkness, however we experience it. It’s what he does.
Don’t take my word for it, though. Set aside some time to ponder what the Word says about light, and ask God to speak into your darkness. And if you have a minute more, I’d love to learn what you hear!
- Genesis 1; John 1; Revelation 21-22
- Exodus 10:21-23
- Psalm 119:105
- John 12:35
- Ephesians 5:14
- James 1:17
© 2015 Sarah Christmyer