Hour of Darkness

I often think of the darkness that
my Mother knew while growing up.  There
were no nightlights, no flick of a switch with instant light flooding her
world.  At night, she looked out in the
blackness on the farm. She saw the Evening Star in the sky and talked to the
star.  Understanding the depth of
darkness on the farm, it is no wonder that her attention was captivated with
the light of the first star that appeared each night.
Watching my dear husband, now 89
years old, suffering the ravages of dementia, and now, also he is losing his eyesight.  I see him grope his way through the house, not
remembering where his bed is. He lives in a world of darkness, not for an hour,
but hours on end.  Sleep is a relief.
When he hears a familiar voice or feels a touch, this is his only assurance of
being safe. 
Physical darkness is one kind of
dark.  There is also a Spiritual Darkness
that creates its own kind of horror.  It
is the total separation from God our Father. 
This is a self-imposed separation that comes when denying the existence
of the Almighty God, the Holy Spirit, and the One and Only Jesus. 
In the spiritual world, darkness
descends like a black curtain of despair and desolation, shutting out all light
and hope.  One stumbles trying to find the
way through the suffocating darkness to find light.
Recently a young mother, at home
with her new baby, reached out in the early hours of the morning to her mother
and grandmother.  Her precious baby
squeaked while breathing.  All was not
right and this young mother was fearful for the life of her new borne babe.  This was her hour of darkness that seemed to
go far beyond an hour.  She tried to
pray, but felt no peace. Questions and unbidden doubt assailed her mind. 
Then began a plea for prayer for
the baby and his parents.  Prayer is that
beautiful relationship and communication with God that sustains our faith and
trust.  God hears the prayers of the
righteous.  And He answers our prayers.
A painter friend once gave me some
advice, “Remember that a painting is made of light and shadow.  The light shines brighter in darkness.”  And so it is with each day that we live in a
world of darkness.  We long for the
light.  Our journey is easier when we
walk in the light. 
Jesus spoke to the
people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you
won’t have to walk in darkness,
because you will have the light that leads to life.”  John 8:12 
 The contrast of light and dark is startling.  Light gives us strength and hope for
living.  Darkness colors our world a
hopeless black.
In the beginning there was darkness …
In the beginning God created the heavens
and the earth. 
 The earth was
formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep waters. And the Spirit of God
was hovering over the surface of the waters. 
Genesis 1:1-3.  In the
beginning the earth was empty – all that
emptiness was filled with God-spoken creation.
One of the plagues visited on Egypt
long ago caught my attention.  Then the Lord said to Moses, “Lift your hand toward heaven, and
the land of Egypt will be covered with a darkness so thick you can feel it.” Exodus 10:21
Can you
imagine a thick darkness? Those who traveled west long ago, endured the
King David knew what dispelled
You light a lamp for me. The Lord, my God, lights up my darkness.”  Psalm 18:28
Nevertheless, that
time of darkness and despair will not go on forever. The land of Zebulun and
Naphtali will be humbled, but there will be a time in the future when Galilee
of the Gentiles, which lies along the road that runs between the Jordan and the
sea, will be filled with glory. The people who walk in darkness
will see a great light. For
those who live in a land of deep darkness,
a light will
shine.  Isaiah 9:1-2. 
There is hope…we will see a
light…and this is for all people who give their lives to God, including the
Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I
am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the
light that leads to life.”  John 8:12 
Jesus, our Jesus, is the Light of the World.  The forgiveness and love He gives to those
who follow Him, gives them the the light
that leads to life.
So where is our hope?  In what do we trust when we face times of
darkness?  Do we ignore the bad times and
hope they disappear?  Do we turn to the world
to find the joy of life?  No, a patch of
darkness reminds us to Who rely on, the Creator of Light and Hope.  The Glorious Father, who sent Jesus, is the
way and the truth.  Darkness in life can
only be dispelled with God’s light this very moment.  John wrote, Put your trust in the light while there is still time; then you will
become children of the light.”
  John 12:36
Darkness reminds us of the promises of light from God.  We trust in the goodness of God.  And we become children of the light. 
So when a patch of darkness comes upon us, let us
renew our faith and trust in God.  It is
a reminder to remember from where our light comes.  He is pulling us back.  A patch of darkness is a reminder that God
loves us.  It is impossible for us to
turn on His light…we simply rest in Him.

My thoughts are nothing like
your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And
my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine
. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are
higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.
  Isaiah 55:8-9

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