Sunday, December 10, 2017

Darkness and Light Simultaneously

Many scriptures designated for reading during Advent refer to light.

-  Isaiah 9:2 - The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light.

-  John 1:5 - The light shines in the darkness and the darkness did not overcome it.

-  John 8:12 - Again, Jesus spoke to them saying, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."

Once I had an experience of light and dark simultaneously when Mike and I flew to Portland, Oregon, to celebrate our youngest daughter's thirtieth birthday. One the return leg of our trip from Denver to Indianapolis, we departed at 6:00 p.m. We flew in light most of the way; however, about an hour before landing, I looked out the window and noticed darkness gathering below.

I was in an interesting place 30,000 feet above ground with darkness below, while seeing light from the sun above. Remembering times of darkness in my life, I knew that despite what I was going through I eventually would see a breakthrough to light. Light was hovering above the darkness like I witnessed in the airplane - I just couldn't see it or feel it.

I am reminded of John's words about light and darkness at the beginning of his gospel. John 1:5 says, "The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it."

John is saying that whatever darkness we experience in life - our own sin, loss, challenging circumstances, impaired relationships - it is not strong enough to block or extinguish the light of Jesus, the source of light, strength, encouragement or whatever we need to get through life's unexpected events.

Shortly before we landed, the pilot came over the loudspeaker and said, "We are preparing for our final descent before landing."

As the plane got closer to the ground, darkness gradually engulfed the cabin. However, when I looked out the window one more time, I could still see light. I saw in reality the words of John 1:5. My experience holding darkness and light simultaneously will serve as a reminder and encouragement that no matter what I encounter, the light of God is there too.

Prayer: God, thank you for moments when we see and realize your truths through experiences in your kingdom. You paint pictures to illustrate scripture giving us an image to carry and remind us always of your presence. Amen.

For Your Reflection:

1. Even moments of deepest darkness have the light of God's presence. What times in your life have held light and dark simultaneously?