"When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."
John 8:12 (NIV)
Sunsets are the amazing parts of days when we realize the sun that had been brightening our world for roughly the last 12 hours or so will be coming to an end. I have yet to see a sunset that I haven't loved, whether it is sitting on my front porch, in an exotic setting like Costa Rica, or here, with friends, at Cape Cod. They are such a sight of beauty and can bring such joy, calming and peace. I know I am not alone - I have seen many pictures and have spoken with many people who enjoy that particular time of day, when the sun sets. Aaahhhh . . . .
Sunsets bring us the evening and the darkness that goes with that. As bright as the sunshine of the day and the beauty of a sunset is, the darkness, for many, can be hauntingly difficult. Yes, there may be a beautiful Harvest Moon, but for many (and I was one of those many at a time in my life), the darkness can mean many things.
- An inability to sleep due to insomnia
- Racing of thoughts that you can't turn off
- Actual work for people who work the 3rd shift
- Sense of despair that can come with the darkness
- Lack of sleep due to a newborn
- A quiet that can be deafening
I have been there, where as much as I love watching the sunset, I knew what would be coming - a night where I couldn't sleep, a night when so many thoughts would run through my head that by 3AM I had solved world peace. Sometimes these things can happen to us every now and then. Yet, when it goes on for days, weeks, months, and sometimes years, it can make one only want the sunshine and not the darkness. Let's face some other facts, my friends. There are probably times when the sunlight of the day can still feel like darkness. It can still bring about feelings of loneliness, despair and a lack of hope.
Please let me share with you, there is Sonshine in the darkness. Regardless of how dark our lives may get, Jesus promises us that he is light of the world. If we follow Him, listen to Him, delve into His world and let Him guide us through our life, His light DOES shine upon us, regardless of the time of day. I'm sure some of you are saying, "Ya, ya, ya, Susan, but He's not HERE with me." Oh yes He is!!
I don't disagree. Wouldn't it have been wonderful to be around when Jesus was here on Earth? To be able to go where He was teaching and preaching - to know that He was living among us? Yet, He is, my friends. He is here. He is here when the sun rises in the morning, at every beautiful sunset, and even in the darkest of nights. He is Here! You can see Him in everything, in every sun that shines and in every star that twinkles. He is not only with you, He is IN you, through our Holy Spirit. Jesus gave us the Holy Spirit so that we would never be alone. Next to the gift of Jesus himself and all of His wonder - what an incredible gift!!
Yes, the sun and all its glory can be wonderful. Yet, so is the darkness. Whether the sun is shining or the darkness prevails in our lives, we have Jesus who brings us the constant light - the light for us to see our way through the journey of life. The light during the darkest of nights. The light through trials, tribulations and despair. The light of hope that nobody or nothing else can give us. Remember this, pray for this, and know that Jesus, the light of OUR world, is with us always! And a little side note, to the wonderful women I had the honor to be with this weekend - thank you for helping me to see the light in my life (these women are truly gifts from God)!
"Dearest Jesus, we thank you for being the light of our world - even during the darkest of times. The light of the day and the light of our lives can many times bring us much happiness. When the darkness arrives, life can be difficult and it's hard to see the good. Help us to be reminded, Jesus, that you came so we would have light always - to see through the difficult times to the light that only You can give us, Jesus. For those people who are in darkness today, we pray that you will fill them with hope, with love, and with light. In your name I pray, Amen."