Monday, January 13, 2014

When Darkness Covers The Earth

"Arise, shine;
For your light has come!
And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you.
For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth,
And deep darkness the people;
But the Lord will arise over you,
And His glory will be seen upon you.
The Gentiles shall come to your light,
And kings to the brightness of your rising.
“Lift up your eyes all around, and see:
They all gather together, they come to you;"  Isaiah 60:1-4

When I was younger I was terrified of "the end of days".  Absolutely terrified.  For people who have been in the faith for a long time, you may remember a series of movies shown in churches in the 80's called "The Mark of The Beast" and they were absolutely terrifying to me.  I was so scared of Jesus returning and of this whole idea of the darkness covering the earth.   Further on in life, dystopian movies and TV shows of all this darkness only served to deepen the trepidation I had about this certain time in the future.  

Only yesterday when Pastor read these verses as part of his message, I saw something completely different.  I didn't see darkness and terror, and the first thought that came to mind was "How beautiful will that be!"  and I suddenly had all these thoughts and visions of lights in the darkness.  Some of the most beautiful sights ever are of lights in the darkness.  Think of a candle-light Christmas Eve service.  Think of a star-filled sky in the heart of a summer camping trip.  Think of the Independance Day- when the skies are lit up with fireworks displays across the country!  Think of the Christmas light displays- which are only pretty when viewed in the dark.

I suspect that the dark times that are coming are not going to be as dark as I once thought them to be.  The fact is, that it will definitely be beautiful.  It will be dark all around us- evil around every corner- but we who have devoted our hearts and lives to Christ will be these lights in the darkness.  We will shine bright as a lighthouse shines on a stormy night, and the people will come.  People who need Jesus will see our lights from many distances and will flock to us- to share in that precious light.  And like a Christmas Eve candlelight service where the flame is passed from candle to candle until the whole room is lit up, we will see the same thing.  As each person finds us and kindles their own fire the lights will spread and grow, and the darkness that seemed as though it would never end will be pushed back and the light will prevail.

It will be a beautiful time, and I am no longer afraid of it.  In fact, I kind of can't wait to see it.

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