The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in a land of deep darkness a light has dawned.  . . . For to us a child is born, to us a Son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Isa 9: 2, 6)

 

I don’t know about you, but lately I’ve been struggling to look beyond the darkness that seems to be descending further and faster with every newscast. Add the ordinary challenges of life for those we know and love, and the griefs of the extraordinary ones, and it can quickly add up to either being generally depressed or specifically devastated.

As I’ve looked to God for help, I’ve been led to Scriptures that focus my attention on His kingdom verses earthly kingdoms. Isaiah’s words strike me as particularly timely. We’re living in a land of deep darkness not only because of the wrecking-ball of Covid on our whole way of life, but because for so many, that way of life is devoid of a relationship with God.

Seeing the light of God’s kingdom isn’t a one-and-done experience. God has called me into His wonderful light, and given me the responsibility to stay in that light. I enter the light when I open His Word every day, when I talk with Him, when I think about His truth and how it applies to my life and circumstances.

Whether or not I make it consciously, every day it’s my choice to either walk in the light or stumble around on my own. I can ask God to govern my day, or put that on my own shoulders. I can testify from bitter experience that my shoulders aren’t built for optimal government.

A major aspect of God’s kingdom is its eternal nature. Our culture isn’t used to looking at eternity. It’s got enough trouble looking at next year. But in calling me into His kingdom of light, God is saying I need to shift the range of my vision and the scope of my hope. Immersing myself in the clouds of today and hoping for a better tomorrow will leave me in the 10-watt bulb of earthly kingdoms. God urges me to expand my vision so I can begin to see the unlimited and unending floodlights of the joy of spending eternity with Him. He earnestly wants me to live in the hope that surpasses anything this world can offer. He asks me to look back at what He has already done, and forward to what he has lovingly promised.

He wants me to look at and take firm hold of Jesus.

As Paul says, then I can give

  . . . joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves . . .  in him all things hold together. (Col 1:12, 17)

For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. 2 Cor 1:20)

Father, please keep reminding me to stay in the light of Christ, and most especially when the darkness descends. You have given me a Wonderful Counsellor who holds together all your promises and purposes; help me to listen to, learn from, lean on and linger long with Him. Help me to celebrate not just His coming, but His staying to live with me through His own Holy Spirit. It’s in His precious and powerful name that I ask it. Amen.