Have you ever thought about how helpful light is?
Random question, I know. But it’s something I’ve been thinking about this week.
Light–both in a literal and figurative sense– has been a recurring theme for me over the past few weeks (all of Advent, basically).
It hasn’t been a particularly light-filled few months for me. Lots of darkness– sadness, stress, worry, exhaustion, fear. Darkness overwhelms and overpowers good so easily, so quickly. Sometimes it’s hard to find the light. Especially for me lately, light hasn’t been easy to come by. Hope for the future hasn’t been particularly present– just gloom and doom. I’m working on it, but it’s hard when bad news after bad news keeps coming.
I was trying to plug a charger in a few days ago; the plug was under a table, surrounded by the couch and a couple other things blocking the overhead light. I tried a few times to get the plug in, but I couldn’t see well enough to find the right place.
So I turned my flashlight on on my phone; within a few seconds, the problem was visible, I could see, and the charger got plugged in seamlessly.
I’ve had a couple of similar instances this week, at work and at home: when lights came on, everything made sense.
Silly how quickly we can figure things out when we find the light.
The weather has been dreadfully dark- lots of storms and clouds and mess. Winters are full of long days, both literally and figuratively- (usually) cold and dreary, with the sun setting before 6pm. Not a lot of hope to be offered by Mother Nature when it’s pitch black outside.
Yet every day that has been dark and cloudy lately has ended in an amazing sunset– a light show sent straight from the heavens.
Even the darkest days end in light.
It’s amazing how quickly light can find us.
“happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one remembers to turn on the light.”-Albus Dumbledore
A light has dawned on those living in the land of darkness. (Isaiah 9:2 HCSB)
The people who had been living in darkness have seen a great light. (Isaiah 9:2 Voice)
4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (John 1:4-5 ESV)
What came into existence was Life,
and the Life was Light to live by.
The Life-Light blazed out of the darkness;
the darkness couldn’t put it out. (John 1:4-5 Message)
A light that thrives in the depths of darkness,
blazes through murky bottoms.
It cannot and will not be quenched. (John 1:4-5 Voice)
weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning. (Psalm 30:5, MEV)
The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. (John 1:9, NIV)
When we celebrate Christmas, we celebrate light. We celebrate hope– and hope that has delivered us from the darkness.
That hope– that light– is the Christ child.We celebrate a weary world– full of darkness and despair thanks to the Fall– rejoicing, sighing with relief.
Finally, light! Light has returned!
In the dark of the night, there was pain— no room in the inn, a fearful virgin giving birth, an unsteady not-quite father-– yet with the morning, there was Jesus. A wee little babe in a manger– needy, frail, helpless. And he changed everything.
In that manger, there was light– a light that was born of and in the dark of the world. And it gave us a hope greater than anything the darkness gives us.
A light that cannot be overcome by the darkness– because He already overcame it. His light is forever in our midst, and no darkness of this world can hide it anymore.
When the life of Jesus came into the world, the light was returned. And that light overpowered the life of the darkness.
Even my messy life can’t be hidden in the darkness anymore. Even my darkness cannot be overcome by the light that Jesus gave us when He was born. Light overcame the darkness, and the light is among us now, dwelling in and around of thanks to the manger. There is hope now for a better tomorrow because there is light- finally, there is light.
Light changes everything.Hope changes everything.
On this day, the true light was given to the world to shine in the darkness. The joy was given to us in the morning after a pitch-black night.
One cannot exist without the other, I finally realize. As much as I celebrate the light, the glorious light, coming into the world, I must embrace the darkness that led to the light, too.
Without darkness, there wouldn’t be a need for light.
So as much as I’d like to do without the darkness– as much as the nighttime hurts my brain and my heart and how much the low moments of this season have caused so much struggle and strife in my daily life– I wouldn’t be who I am without them. I wouldn’t have made the choices or understood my feelings without the darkness that brought the light.
I wouldn’t truly know or appreciate the light if I didn’t have or know the darkness first. The people wouldn’t have seen a great light if they hadn’t been immersed in the darkness first.
So I celebrate the day the light returned to the world. I celebrate this day where the weary world rejoices. Hope is here, light came bursting forth. Jesus changed everything with light. Light won. Darkness cannot be overcome anymore.
But darkness is still needed. So, the light gives us hope. Light gives us hope that in the midst of our darkness, we will see again. Hope that even when our worlds are weary and dark, everything can change if we let a little light in.
Hope changes everything. And so does light– and the hope that the light will return to brighten up the darkness.
Happy birthday to the light of the world, the hope of the nation– may that hope always point us back towards the light.
It gets darker and darker and darker… and then Jesus is born. ~Wendell Berry
and now, there’s a Light in the world to help us overcome the dark.