Finding hope when the light is fading
I really like light. Never been a big fan of the dark. I hate how disorienting it is when you can’t make out your surroundings. Growing up in the desert, there were plenty of creatures who came out only at night. They were wild animals, but what made them especially dangerous was that they could see in dark, and I could not. To go tromping through the sagebrush without a light would have been foolish, to say the least.
Even as I’ve lived in other locations, I still don’t like the dark. I love the long days of spring and summer. I would even advocate that we stay on daylight savings time year-round. But every year, mid-summer, a change begins to occur. We don’t typically notice it right away, yet within a few months, it is undeniable…the days have gotten shorter, there is less light than there used to be.
Even with all the great things that fall brings – changing leaves, football, holidays – I resent that they come when the days are shorter. When I am paying attention, I also notice a shift in my attitude. My feelings drift closer towards the cold and darkness I am experiencing through the weather…almost seems like I’m being slowly dragged down by nature. Typically by November, I am fully aware of the seasonal change around me…and feeling rather depressed that it’s going to continue for a while before it gets any better. Leave for work in morning, and it’s dark…head home from work in the evening, and it’s dark. I’ve worked in some places that didn’t have windows – so it felt like either I missed an entire ‘day’ while I was working, or that the ‘day’ never really happened, like it just stayed dark.
The calendar day that has always bothered me the most is the winter solstice; the day gives us the least amount of light every year. Six-ish hours of daylight. That’s it. Bleh…
Only recently did I see the hope that is couched within that particular day. Once that day has passed, the light will increase. Little by little, just an extra minute or two per day…the darkness begins to recede. The darkness has approached the line in the sand, so to speak, and it will go no further. Although months have passed while the light slowly fades, it turns out that the darkness will not overtake the day, after all. The light returns, and with it – new life and springtime will soon follow.
Life feels like that sometimes, doesn’t it? Our world seems to be growing darker and darker, little by little. Some days it even looks like the darkness will overtake the light altogether. However, as followers of Jesus, we know the darkness will not win. While on Earth, Jesus predicted His death and resurrection…but He also predicted His return:
In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if not, I would have told you. I am going away to prepare a place for you. If I go away and prepare a place for you, I will come back and receive you to Myself, so that where I am you may be also.
Jesus’ return build upon a promise He had made earlier:
Then Jesus spoke to them again: “I am the light of the world. Anyone who follows Me will never walk in the darkness but will have the light of life.”
The author of Hebrews also echoed the hope found in Jesus’ return:
so also the Messiah, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for Him.
Starting tomorrow, the light of the sun will begin to return. Use this as a reminder that one day, the light of the world will return. The darkness we see in the world will not win, no matter how dark it seems at the moment.