Scripture Text: Psalm 18: 1-3, 28
1I love you, O Lord, my strength. 2The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer, my God, my rock in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. 3I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised, so I shall be saved from my enemies…28It is you who light my lamp; the Lord, my God, lights up my darkness.
Remember once again in the first chapter of Genesis when God created Light? The Light was created to push back the darkness. It didn’t “win” over the darkness; darkness was not gone. This is not a light war. Even darkness was created by God. But then came Light, pushing back the darkness, re-creating the darkness into Light. In essence, Light illumines the darkness. God lights up the darkness.
This Psalm can be traced back to the era of the First Temple (Solomon’s Temple) before the Babylonian Exile. It was considered a Royal Psalm, words echoing the belief that God would save the king, that God was the one behind the king, the God who had always been strong and reliant, the God whose actions were always just and merciful and would continue to be.
What, then, does it mean for God to light our darkness? What does it mean for God, strong and reliant, just and merciful, to push back the darkness in our lives and illumine where we stand? Are we ready for that? Do we trust in that? As we’ve mentioned before, sometimes the darkness gets a little too comfortable. We become accustomed to strategically hiding part of ourselves, which is, of course, easier in the darkness. And, after all, there’s always still darkness, right? But if we truly allow ourselves to look toward the Light, the darkness will begin to subside. We’re not used to the Light. Our eyes will sting at first until we clear the remnants of darkness from them. But when we begin to focus, it will all come into view—pushing back the darkness.
Try it. All it takes is a candle—one candle in the darkness. If you light one candle, there is Light. Maybe it’s not everything you want. Maybe it’s not enough to read or something. But it’s enough to light your way. It just takes one candle to begin to push back the darkness. It just takes something small. I think that’s how God does it. I think that’s how God has always done it. God doesn’t turn on all the lights at once. Sometimes God slips into the darkness like a baby in a manger.
We’ve always been in darkness. I think that’s so we can see the Light. God doesn’t supply us with headlights or spotlights or even a strategically-placed flashlight. You know why? Because we don’t need light to find Light. God created darkness for us. It was the place that we were born before our eyes could adjust to the Light. It was the place where we grew and learned to see the Light. But through our lives, God always put a light in the window, just enough Light so that we would know where to go. God begins to light our darkness, lighting one lamp after another. Because that’s all it takes to light up our darkness. Look toward the Light and the darkness will be pushed away. Look for the Light in the window.
In faith there is enough light for those who want to believe and enough shadows to blind those who don’t. (Blaise Pascal)
Grace and Peace,