I tossed and turned, trying to get comfortable. Counting sheep never worked for me. I lay in bed with my eyes wide open staring into the darkness. Loneliness crept into my heart. My 10-year-old self believed I was the only person in the whole world still awake. I mustered up the courage to get out of bed, prayed there wasn’t anyone hiding in the shadows, and quietly walked to my window. I gazed out into the night and my eyes found the comfort I sought. A light illuminated a tiny window at my neighbor’s house. This light told me I wasn’t alone; someone else was awake, too. I depended on that light no matter what time insomnia hit me. It gave me hope in the dark, lonely hours of the night.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:1-5, ESV
I look back on those memories with a different lens today. The window light shining in the dark was Jesus. My hope. He comforted me before I even really knew Him.
Light and hope are weaved throughout the Scriptures:
- God plagued the Egyptians with darkness. The kind of dark where you can’t see your hand in front of your face. The Israelites continued to have light, their hope in the dark. (Exodus 10:21-29)
- God led the Israelites out of Egypt and throughout the wilderness with a pillar of fire at night to give them light. (Exodus 14:21)
- Isaiah prophesied: “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them a light has shone.” (9:2) Jesus fulfilled this.
- Micah declared victory over the enemy: “Rejoice not over me, O my enemy; when I fall, I shall rise; when I sit in darkness, the LORD will be a light to me.” (7:8)
- An angel of the Lord shone brightly in the sky to deliver the Good News to the shepherds in the field, good news of great joy for all the people: the Messiah was born. (Luke 2:8-14)
- Second Timothy 1:10 stated Jesus “broke the power of death and illuminated the way to life and immortality through the Good News.”
Hope is also found in Christ through others. Jesus instructed those gathered to “let [their] light shine before others, so that they may see [their] good works and give glory to [their] Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)
During a particularly difficult season, God used those around me to act as the light of hope. One friend gave me a journal and pen to write down Scripture. She also brought flowers to brighten my mood. Another friend instructed me to PRAY (link Uneven Pink Line), which led to me surrender my life to Christ. Countless others prayed for our family and acted as beacons in the dark. Every single person who shined their light for us played a role in my spiritual life.
There are only a few things I know with certainty. One, all of us will experience trials in this life. Second, all of us are given hope in the form of Jesus Christ. Whether or not we turn to Him is our decision. But He remains steadfast and constant as our light in the dark. Darkness will never overcome; there is always hope.
Isn’t it just like Jesus to reveal His presence to us in such ordinary ways? I’ve always known Him and at various times a superficial relationship. When He brought this story from my childhood to mind, it brought a smile to my face. Do you have memories from your childhood of ordinary ways in which Jesus revealed Himself? I’d love to hear! Leave a comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.