God provides light in the dark
Courtesy: Daniel Bramlett
“I can see in the dark!” I was up in the middle of the night this week for a glass of water and the revelation hit me. I realize I’ve had this ability all of my life and I’m no different than any other human on the planet, but my eyes had adjusted to the night so well, I could see! I thought “How cool is it that God gives us light even in the dark.”
Sometimes the darkness is so thick it’s hard to think much less see where we’re going. But God has provided a light in the dark. It may not be a spotlight, that is, it may not be an easy thing to spot, but it will always be there. If we spend our time focusing on the dark that surrounds us we will miss the very presence of God. But if we fix our eyes on Jesus we will quickly be drawn to the Light.
I’ve been reading in the book of Zechariah this week. I love the Prophets! I love these guys who were oppressed and felt forgotten yet refused to stop walking in faithfulness and truth. God had promised to visit them and they refused let go of that promise. Daniel prays in the pit with the lions. Ezekiel is looking for God in the canyon full of bones. Joel sees a future with no crop-eating locusts and Hosea keeps looking at Gomer as his wife. These are standup, faith-filled men who refuse to back down when all the world goes dark.
Zechariah utters a verse that’s stuck in my memory for years. It sounds like this, “Not by might, nor by power but by My Spirit, says the Lord!” These words are a precursor to the rest of the book. Zechariah is going to lay out a plan in chapter eight of the complete and full restoration of Jerusalem. His words sound an awful lot like John’s in Revelation. They are expectant, full of hope, rich with the glory of God and not in a hurry at all. They are content to wait on God’s timing and His strong arm to unveil the steps from point A to B. No hurry, but they stand on ready.
Zechariah points to a day when Jerusalem will be filled once again with stirrings of life. Old men and young boys will be in the streets. There will be no threat from outside nations. The ground will produce not just a harvest of food, but of blessing also. Celebrations will abound with love and peace and the residents of this faithful city will be ready and willing to go with God on a moment’s notice.
I love this image because I too long for a day when those things will happen in our town. I yearn for the day when peace (the absence of struggling with God) and love (the presence of compassion towards one another) will define us. I can hear the voices of people hanging out and kids playing in the streets. I can see a time when our land will reap the blessings of faithfulness. The difference is I am often not willing to wait on our darkness to lift.
Often I try to create my own sense of light and truth. Just in case you’re wondering, this never works. Every time I try to force God’s activity among us, my work is less effective than a dollar store flashlight (no offense Dollar Tree!). I can run out of juice pretty quick. My efforts are not known for their longevity. Like a horse chomping at the bit, I tend to rush the gate and foul rather than run.
Can you relate to my ramblings here? Do you, too, long for a day of restoration? Are you one who rushes the presence of God instead of waiting on Him to fulfill His promises to us? If so, there’s hope! God’s promises aren’t teasers. He never plays Hide & Go Seek with us. His presence is rich and full of redeeming power. His heart for us is the same heart that beats for a restored Jerusalem. Trust Him when He says “He Will Restore.” Our Father’s Light is so much better than the cheap lights I use. Lean on His promise to restore and look for His Light. I promise it’s getting brighter and brighter.