Hope in a Dark World
When I was a kid, my family took a trip to Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky. Mammoth Cave is the world’s longest known cave system with over 400 miles of underground passageways. I don’t remember much from our visit, but I do recall one moment during the tour when our guide asked us to stand quietly while all the lights were extinguished in one of the underground caverns. She said, “There is absolutely no light down here. You will never experience more complete darkness than you are experiencing right now.”
She was wrong. I’ve gone through darker moments in life. You have, too. We all go through times when the world seems like a very dark place – times of loss, discouragement, regret, or fear. Maybe you are in a dark place right now.
One of Scripture’s most powerful metaphors for the Messiah is that he is a light in a dark world. (See: Isaiah 9:2; 42:6; Malachi 4:2; John 1:9; 8:12; 2 Corinthians 4:6.) The metaphor of light tells us that Jesus brings hope, even in the most hopeless situations. No matter how dark things may seem for you right now, with Jesus there is hope.
This coming Sunday (November 28) we begin the traditional Christian season of Advent. During these four weeks that lead up to Christmas, we remember how the people of God waited for centuries for the Messiah to come. We also remind ourselves that we are presently in a season of waiting, as we anticipate our Messiah’s return.
During this time of waiting we often face moments of darkness. But no matter how dark it may seem, in Christ, we have an undying hope. John 1:4-5 says, “In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”
May God fill you with a renewed sense of hope this Advent season. May he open your eyes in fresh ways to see the light of Christ shining all around you.