Most believers love the light. We desire to walk in the light of truth, reflect the light of Jesus, and share the Gospel’s light with those trapped in the darkness of their sin. We love the light, and so we should.
By contrast, most of us do not really like the dark times. The hard ones. The ones that hurt and wound us. Those days and seasons where we cry more than laugh, and the pressures build up to where we feel like we are going to explode. Life often is messy, relationships hard, and darkness can smother us.
I love the light, but the truth is most of the significant times of spiritual growth in my life have happened in the dark. When life is good, Jesus is near, people love me, and all is well, it is very easy to drift. The hard times reveal what is in my heart. The pressure brings up the forgotten, or neglected areas of my life that need to be exposed to God’s redeeming light.
The dark is also revealing. This counter thought to my normal way of thinking came from the following:
“But while the earthly sun is sinking the stars are coming out in the sky, to tell of a grander universe, and of purposes beyond the narrow homes under whose roofs we now meet and part.” John Ker (1819-1886)
Dr. Ker is a little known Scottish preacher who said, or perhaps more accurately stated, wrote a mouthful. It is when the light sinks, the sun goes away, and the dark times appear, that we catch a glimpse of how big the drama really is. The stars are millions of miles away and we begin to realize that we are part of something huge. We simply couldn’t see the bigger picture when the light was shining so bright. The vast sky was hidden by the bright light of daytime. Night has a purpose.
If we never had dark times I wonder how we would know how wonderful the light is. If it was never cold, would we appreciate the warmth? I love the light, but the dark also has a place to reveal. Someday we will step into a bright Light and will no longer need the dark. For now, I am learning to embrace what God wants to reveal when the sun sets.