Is There Light in the Darkness?

Willow Creek | March 8, 2024

Physical darkness is unnerving. It’s not innately dangerous, but the possibilities of what exists in the unseen and the unclear are often foreboding and keep us on edge. Darkness presents too many “what-ifs” of harmful possibilities. 


But where physical darkness can be unnerving, mental, emotional, and spiritual darkness is thick and oppressive–the kind of darkness that is a vacuum of joy and hope; the kind of darkness that exists in the light of day and robs people of the light in their eyes. That kind of darkness taunts us with the thought that maybe we will never see the sun rise in our soul again. 

Is there light in that kind of darkness?


God Created Light in the Darkness


In Genesis chapter 1, darkness was all that existed. There was no raw material to use; there was literally nothing except God Himself, and His first call to order was to speak light into being. The magnitude of light spoken into the darkness is still being felt in the cosmos. The doppler effect tells us that out of this moment the universe continues to expand even as you read these words. 

God created light. Then God created the sea, where the depths go farther than Mt. Everest is high. Scientists refer to the deepest layers of the ocean as the “midnight zone” because sunlight cannot reach, leaving the great deep bathed in complete darkness. The water pressure at that depth is so strong that no man-made vehicle exists that can withstand it without crumpling like an aluminum can.  


And yet, scientists have discovered that in the darkest, most pressurized depths of the ocean an entire ecosystem of marine life survives and even thrives in the heavy darkness. Tiny fish made of cartilage and bone are able to withstand the pressure that steel collapses under because of internal systems that pressurize their bodies to match the pressure on the outside. 


What’s more is that scientists have found that 76% of marine life at that depth are bioluminescent, which means their physical bodies produce their own light through a series of chemical reactions; life is casting into the darkest depths of the earth. 


Any student of art will tell you that artists have signatures; they have styles and stories that come through their work, fingerprints displayed through their craftsmanship. Romans 1:20 tells us that God is an artist and His creation displays eternal truths. 


In the depths of the sea, light exists, produced by simple fish whose fragile bodies withstand unimaginable pressure. God’s creation silently points us to one essential truth: in the darkness night of our soul, the light of Jesus shines.

The one who called light to shine out of darkness “is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.” (2 Corinthians 4:6). 


And just as a flame produces no shadow, there is no shadow of hopelessness in His light. Any thought, any emotion, any darkness devoid of hope is suspect to the promise of the King who unapologetically declares, “I am the Light of the world. He that follows Me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12). 


Through Him we never have to walk in darkness, and the power of His Spirit will pressurize our spirit from the inside to withstand the pressures that threaten to crush us from the outside. 


Today, look for the places where light exists, where hope shines defiant to whatever circumstances you may be facing. Hope is the anthem, light is the promise. 


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