“The people dwelling in darkness have seen a great light, and for those dwelling in the region and shadow of death, on them a light has dawned.” –Matthew 4:16
God describes the very good world He created that is spun into sin and brokenness and “darkness” and the place of the “shadow of death.” This dark place is home for us. It is familiar to us. We are accustomed its chill, its cold silence, its brokenness. So, the world thinks it normal that the hatred, violence, pride, death, and the splitting humans into categories is a good thing.
Christians are all blind people who have had their vision restored now walking in light (Ephesians5:8). We see the darkness for what it is: evil and blind. With heaviness in our hearts do we traverse this valley of the shadow of death, pushing forward with the Bible as light in the path of this dark world and knowing God is with us.
Our temptation is to yell into the darkness and command the world to stop being broken, or perhaps like our spiritual forefathers, place a king over us like the nations to set things right. King Jesus didn’t tell blind Bartimaeus to open his eyes to see; He healed him. We didn’t come to Jesus with wisdom and a good heart, we came broken, needy, ignorant, and wicked. He forgave us and gave us the eyes of faith.
As God’s people, we now tell those in darkness the excellencies of Jesus, the Great Light (I Peter 2:9). The God who spoke the sun into existence from nothing speaks through our lips when we proclaim the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ (IICorinthians 4:6). Yet, we experience the brokenness and death awaiting to be fully healed in the completed Kingdom (Revelation 21:1–8). Our trials and sufferings are used by God to display His majesty as well (I Peter 1:6–7).
Rejoice, O Christian! For our great God has mercies for your journey through this darkness. Possess faith in our Savior and greatly rejoice with a painful, yet hopeful, joy! We have seen the glory of this Great Light, we proclaim Him to all people, and long for His completed Kingdom with great anticipation. Let us be found faithful to display and proclaim the excellencies of Christ until our final breath.
Heavenly Father, we rejoice in the might of Your salvation in Christ! You have given us eyes to see and wisdom by the power of Your Holy Spirit. Strengthen our hearts to repent of pride and open our lips to speak Your gospel of grace. We rejoice in Your goodness and grace. Be glorified in us. Amen.