How was your week?
Most people would say it was a mix of ups and downs. Just being realistic. And we usually wish the ups had outweighed the rest. We shrug weary shoulders, and resign ourselves to trying to find the bright side. At least we made it through, we say to assure ourselves.
For others of us, the bright side was nearly nonexistent, and everything seemed dark, and hopeless, and lost-feeling.
We thought we knew the direction we needed to head in. Thought we knew how to avoid any bumps in the road. We thought we had a handle on things.
Instead we feel like things went from bad to worse. Deserted, stranded by the good that’s supposed to shine a little over our lives.
And with all the downs blackening out the good we wonder if there was even a point to it all?
Ah. But we forget that it’s in the dark places where certain things finally shine the most clearly.
Ever been out in the middle of nowhere and looked up at the stars?
You almost can’t help it. The dark of night outside the city limits is inky and thick. It can swallow up the countryside. Except for the stars. What were pretty and hollow and kind of distant from the street corner, become intense and definitive and explosive with light.
What magnifies that sparkly light?
There’s a simple line tucked into the film Heaven Is For Real that flies on past you if you’re not paying attention to it, in a quiet scene where Pastor and Mrs. Burpo are leaving a restaurant situated out in the lush countryside after dinner one evening.
As they stroll and gaze at the sky, leading up to a difficult conversation, the good Reverend says to no one in particular “The darker the night, the brighter they shine.”
“The darker the Night, the brighter they Shine.”
And I ask myself again, what makes a star SO bright in the middle of the inky black nowhere?
It’s the same light as was in the city, but it had to compete with all the other thousands of generated light. But out in the nowhere-land? Oh baby, those suckers SHINE like nobody’s business.
But without those lights, those stars, bursting forth unhindered, there would be no redeeming quality to the dark. And that’s the point.
So I know it might have been rough and desperate at times. And I know things can start to look pretty dark and unsure. But did you stop wandering around in it, and look up at some point?
That’s where the light is. Where it’s been waiting. Where it’s always been. And it blazes, casting light and dispersing the ink, and bringing respite. In spite of all the night. Taking what was hard and using it for something glorious.
Bringing hope and promise and security.
And so I hear the truth in my heart. That the Creator knows exactly how to use the Light to His advantage.
It started with the most amazing star set ablaze over Bethlehem. During a dark period in history, it shined and signaled a promise. That we were never forgotten.
It continued with His Son revealing that he was indeed “The Light of the world.”
The deal was sealed within a sealed grave, but death can’t hold that kind of super nova down. And the victory early Sunday morning was blinding.
It is no coincidence then that the Son’s name is “The Bright and Morning Star”. Meaning nothing can hold a candle to him. The morning star shines far beyond any other, both in night and morning light.
In the good and the bad, He is there. Ready to shine. Ready to be revealed in everything. So why worry over the temporary darkness?
So now look at your week. And the one coming up. Are we paying attention to the Light of the world?
Will we learn from it, bathe in it, live in it, be saved by it?
So that when He looks at our hearts and our lives searching and dwelling there in Him, never hiding or hoarding what He gives and supplies, but giving it and sharing it… especially in the darkest nights and lowest times, He can nod and say;
“The darker the night…. the brighter They shine!”