This article was first published on liveyourmissionblog.com.
In the attic of my memories, backpacking trips taken years ago are nestled in a special treasure box. I’ve pulled the mental pictures from some of those trips out in the last few months and carefully tried to recall the specific details of the beauty. Craggy mountains, hidden lakes the color of sky, waterfalls roaring with snow melt and valleys carpeted with rhododendron blossoms are keepsakes from some of my favorite places. Nights the color of black velvet, miles away from light pollution, studded with brilliant stars, were one of the reasons I wanted to be as far away from civilization as I could get.
There is a truth we don’t often think about: stars are in the sky all the time. The light of the sun obscures the brilliance of the stars in daytime, so the truth of their consistent light is hidden, except in the darkest times of night. When all else is dark, their light can take your breath away.
So it is with our trials. When situations in our lives create darkness that surrounds us, the light of our Lord, given to us, by Him dwelling in us, shines the brightest. He is in us always, so His light is ever present. Yet, the daylight of happy circumstances and easy roads often don’t provide the contrast that others need to have in order to see that the joy of Christ is real and true, and that peace is dependent on Him, not on circumstance.
I remember looking forward to crawling out of my tent at night to watch the stars. Darkness was welcome. Dark times in my life, not so much, but I clearly see the benefit of going through trials. I wish it didn’t need to be that way. What would it be like to have daylight and brilliant stars at the same time? I really can’t imagine that. God knows we need contrast, perspective and opportunities to shine in dark situations that make the world see the light and question how it can be.
Questions asked can lead the way to Him, the True Light that brings salvation.
Light is most beautiful in the darkness. Remember that truth.
John 8:12 (NIV)
“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.’ “
Matthew 5:14-16 (NIV)
“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and set it under a bowl. Instead, they set it on a stand so that it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, so that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”