Tag Archives: light

Treasure in the Dark?

Since the arrival of my son, I’ve seen more hours of darkness than usual, and it got me thinking about whether darkness is all bad. There is something about those silent hours in the dead of night that have a kind of peace to them (except when the baby is screaming!)

So often, darkness is demonised, and yet we need it. We need the darkness of night as much as we need the light of day and many beautiful things have their beginnings in the darkness. As Barbara Taylor Brown writes in her excellent book “Learning to Walk in the Dark”

“New life starts in the dark whether it is a seed in the ground, a baby in the womb, or Jesus in the tomb.”

It seems obvious when you think about it, Jesus wasn’t resurrected in the sunshine, but in the darkness of the tomb, flowers need the darkness of the ground to bloom, babies need the comforting darkness of the womb to grow before they face the light of the world.

Darkness wasn’t created, it’s an absence not a presence – but God didn’t eliminate it from the creation He called ‘good’. Perhaps it’s because, as Psalm 139 recounts, “Even the darkness is not dark to You, And the night is as bright as the day Darkness and light are alike to You.”

So I wonder if it’s time to rethink darkness, to the wonder and potential that it holds. The late poet Mary Oliver understood a little of this I think when she wrote the words:

“Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this too, was a gift.”

What can we learn in the darkness, that we couldn’t learn in the light?

In the darkest days of depression, I learned to lean on God in ways I never would have done without it and I’m reminded of the things that are revealed in the darkness throughout the Bible.

Jonah in the darkness in the belly of the whale, David in the cave at Adullam – God transforms people in their darkness.

And I wonder what treasure can be found in whatever darkness you face? (Isaiah 43:5)

 

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Let There Be Light

“The people walking in darkness have seen a great light, on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.” Isaiah 9:2

Let there be light.

These words were the beginning of everything, the light came and God’s creative power was revealed in all its splendour for the first time.

They are some of the most powerful words in scripture – we cannot deny the power of light.

Sometimes its as comforting as a night light for a child, at others its a harsh glare of realisation.

In John’s gospel the account of Jesus coming to earth in human form begins with light.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.  In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”

Light bids us to wait in hope for the day when the light will shine in all its fullness.

Christmas tells us that the Light of the World was and is willing to descend into the darkness of our humanity for our sake and will not be extinguished by it.

Tim Keller writes that:

“He is a light for us when all other lights go out.”

I pray that this Christmas, whatever darkness you may face, that you feel God’s presence with you as we remember that the God who formed the stars descended to us to come close – and to draw us closer to Him.

Scared of Happy?

It sounds strange, to be scared of something which is often fought so hard for. And yet, it is exactly this fight which can make a person fear the happiness when in comes. When all is dark, one begins not to notice that darkness but shown the light, we don’t want to return to the darkness.

It is something I have been thinking a lot about recently as I have enjoyed the happiest six months of my life. Whilst some of this happiness can be attributed to having amazing friends and family, a loving boyfriend and a fulfilling degree course – there is also an element of freedom. The freedom to wake up in the morning and feel ‘okay’ is one which eluded me for a great many years. Going to bed with a smile on my face, was, for a long time completely above and beyond my wildest dreams because I simply did not think I deserved it.

So now, as I enjoy the happiness – there is a lurking fear – a fear that the darkness will return, a fear that days will once again become lost in my ‘sad eyes’.

It is, in many ways a very useful fear – it keeps me tethered to the ground, keeps me thankful for what I have, enables me to use the happiness rightly – stops me from ever taking the light for granted.

I am not naive enough to think that I will never face any darkness again – but I’ve been granted the feel of the light and I like it. So whilst life may become dark again, I hope and pray I can hold onto the hope of the light.

For now though, life is good – and I’m going to enjoy the light and give glory to the one who spoke the light into being.

Who are we?

A couple of thoughts from the Chapel service yesterday at LST:

Who are we to doubt the power of the God who fed over 5000 people with a manky packed lunch?

Who are we to shirk the responsibility of using our giftings for the Kingdom of God?

Who are we to not be part of God bringing change?

Who are we to keep staring at the darkness – instead of bringing the light?

Who are we not the change the world through the power of God?