A light shining in the darkness can guide us along the way, and reminds us of how much we need the light. Without darkness, our trust would never be tested.
By Veronica Dannemiller
4 August 2020
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.John 1:15
I love the moon. It is so humble in comparison to the sun, and yet, as soon as night falls, my eyes are instantly drawn to it, and I cannot seem to look away. Perhaps it is because we appreciate even the slightest bit of light when we are surrounded by darkness. In the daylight, we often do not think about the sun; it provides us with so much light that we do not even think about looking for it. We take it for granted, really. As long as the sun does what we need it to, we don’t think of it. When it is dark and cold, we begin to think about the sun and how it is failing to deliver the way it usually does, but otherwise, we only really think of the sun when it is in our eyes, making us uncomfortable, and when it rises and sets because it creates a spectacular display.
Creation Reflects God’s Goodness and Truth
Because God has created this beautiful world we live in, every one of His creations reflect His beauty, goodness, or truth in some way, which means we can learn more about who God is just by observing the world around us.
So when I felt myself mesmerized by the moon for no tangible reason and experienced a nagging need to understand why I was so captivated by something so simplistic, my mind turned to God. All I could seem to think of that was so special about the moon was that it keeps me from walking in total darkness. And suddenly I realized why I could not let the notion go—I was reminded of how in my most difficult moments I felt like I was alone in the complete darkness, desperately searching and longing for even the slightest bit of light. The moon reminds my heart of God. Whenever I felt surrounded by nothing but blackness, I would look up and see the littlest bit of light. It was not enough to disperse all of the darkness, but it gave me the ability to stumble on until the sun rose again.
The Light Shines in the Darkness
I have come to love the darkness because it helps me to see the Light. I am beginning to rejoice in the darkness that reminds me of my need for the Light and has taught me that I can trust the Light. When the world is shrouded in darkness and only the moon is able to be seen, my eyes are drawn only to the moon. When I am in pain or feel afraid, alone, or confused, I quickly find that the solution can only be found in God—anything else is merely a temporary fix and will not satisfy. As human beings, we have an innate ability to recognize when things are not as God intended for them to be. When we see pain and evil in the world, something deep within us cries out. We become sad and frustrated and angry because we know this is not how things should be. And in recognizing what is not good, we learn about what is good. And the more we learn about goodness, the more we learn about God Himself. So even the darkness reveals the Light.
In the darkness, we learn to trust God as He guides the way. Without darkness, our trust would never be tested and proven to be true, but, even more than that, in the dark times, God proves that the trust we have placed in Him is well-founded. So the darkness is able to push us toward God. This is why God allows evil in the first place—so that good can come from it! And it is not like He will leave us in the darkness alone; remember the moon?
It is also in the darkness that the power of the Light can be fully appreciated; you never realize the power of a generator until the electricity goes out. When we are left with nowhere to go and have no strength left within us, God is waiting to take us by the hand, guide the way, and allow us to rest in Him and lean into His strength. When everything is going well, it is so easy to forget about God, despite our best intentions. But when we are swallowed up in the darkness of the night, we see Him in even the littlest of His actions. When we need God, we think of Him; it is that simple.
I am happy walking by the light of the moon—because when I walk in the darkness, I never feel quite so close to the light.
Photo By Zouavman Le Zouave (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Veronica Dannemiller is a graduate student at Franciscan University, pursuing the heart of God and a Master’s Degree in Theology. She looks forward to returning to the world of youth ministry and spreading the Gospel of love to a world craving healing, truth, and joy.