This is the month when Daylight Savings ends. I feel like it always brings up many opinions – some people love the extra hour of sleep, some hate how it messes up their kids’ sleep schedules, and others like waking up early and it being fully daylight. However, there are some, like me, that really hate watching the sunset at 5:30pm and being in the dark for most of the evening. I love a good sunset, but can it be at 8:30 instead? I do not like walking out of the office at dusk or dark. It really messes with me. I get so excited in the spring when we wake up tired or late to church but it is LIGHT!
I saw a meme on this November’s time change date that asked if we had saved the daylight. Did we save it? The answer is YES, it’s being saved so much that I never see it. Cool, cool.
Brittany, you may be asking, did you come on this blog just to rant about Daylight Savings Time? No, I did not…but stick around long enough and you’ll get all sorts of ridiculous opinions I have. You’re welcome!
I bring up Daylight Savings Time because I’ve been thinking about this idea of light and dark. It’s that time of year when it gets dark. We’re living life in the dark – going to dinner at a normal time and it’s dark, leaving work – dark, want to go on an evening walk – better get there at 4pm, before dark! If you’ve watched any news the past few months, it’s dark. The news is usually negative, but lately it has seemed particularly heavy and dark. Our personal lives can be heavy, or maybe some of us are walking through dark things with friends.
Being in the dark does something to us. Physically during this time of year, our bodies can take a toll. Living in darkness can cause our internal body clock to be out of sync. I can attest to this; the other night I felt like I should go to bed because it felt SO late…it was 7pm. And I think that more than our bodies being out of sync, if we’re in darkness our souls get out of sync.
If we focus on the dark too long, we miss the light.
Over my time in student ministry, I’ve taken many students to camp or camping. While I served at a church in Arkansas, we would camp all the time. In Frisco, we take students to camp each year over Labor Day weekend. It never fails that as it gets dark, students pull out their flashlights. Smart – don’t want to trip in the dark. However, they’re only helpful if you’re behind them. I always prefer for my eyes to adjust in the woods so that the moon guides me because you miss what’s outside of that circle from the flashlight. The light contrasts the dark so much.
What I’ve noticed is that it can’t truly be pitch black if there’s even a tiny bit of light. Light always breaks through the darkness. Light immediately pierces the darkness. It’s always the light intruding on the dark. The dark doesn’t pierce anything; it just is. This idea is Biblical. John 1:5 says, “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”
Thank goodness that the darkness doesn’t overcome the light. Light cannot be overtaken. No matter what is going on in your world, however dark things may seem (or perhaps just the physical early evening darkness), light shines in the darkness. That’s hope! I recently memorized 1 John 1:5 and following. It states, “God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.” None at all!
So not only does the light shine in the darkness, but God is also light. Therefore, He shines in the darkness. He can only be light because “in Him there is no darkness at all.” Is that comfort to anyone else? That in my hard things, the Lord steps in and shines light in the dark places. In my lonely times, driving down the dark, winter roads getting in my head, God speaks truth and shines light.
In John 16, Jesus discusses the anguish his friends will feel because of Jesus’ death. But he promises that that sorrow will turn into joy because of the resurrection, because of the hope found in Christ. In verse 33, Jesus explains that he has told his friends all these things so that they have peace. He doesn’t point out the hard, sorrowful, dark times that will come to focus on the negative. He does it so that his followers find peace in Him. Then he says, “In this world you will have trouble” – it’s almost a promise that hard things will come. “But take heart!” he says, “I have overcome the world!”
Just as light overcomes darkness, Jesus – the light of the world – has overcome all! He has conquered and pierced the darkness.
It’s going to physically get darker and darker until December 21 (the winter solstice). As you turn on the lights to your house, your headlights, your lights in the backyard or maybe even a fire pit or your Christmas tree, watch how that light pierces the darkness. And may it be a reminder to lift your burdens to the One who overcomes all things. He can handle it. When my life seems overwhelming or hard or like I’m the only one going through this, God is there. He knows. And He knows your stuff too. He knows what your friends are going through. Let’s give our burdens to the only One who can truly bring light to them and walk with hope.
One of my favorite bands, Switchfoot, has a few songs/lyrics that I’m reminded of as I think about this idea of light. They say, the shadow proves the sunlight and the wound is where the light shines through. I think about these as it helps shift my perspective to focus on how the Lord is going to use and work in my hard situations.
I know winter is hard for a lot of people. Holidays bring up lots of expectations and comparisons. The cold and dark really do something to us. So, I’m praying for you. I pray that the Lord gives you peace and comfort this season. That we can marvel at the light instead of dreading the darkness, all the while seeking God as He provides peace.