While we look not at the things
which are seen,
but at the things which are not seen:
for the things which are seen
but the things which are not seen
2 Corinthians 4:18
“I believe in God like I believe in the sun,
not because I see it, but because of it –
all things are seen.”
A few weeks ago we experienced one of nature’s spectacles that was best seen here on the west coast of the United States: a solar eclipse.
What causes an eclipse? Good question. A solar eclipse happens when the moon moves directly in front of the sun, blocking its light and casting a shadow on earth’s surface.
It’s really quite a phenomenon when you consider the fact that the sun is 400 times larger than the moon, and 400 times further away from the earth than the moon. Yet, when the moon sneaks its way in front of the sun with such perfect symmetry, both solar bodies appear to be the same size. Amazing.
And, just a few Thursdays ago, the moon made a partial sweep across the planet, turning the sun into a crescent (a partial eclipse) and leaving strange shadows in what normally would have been the brightest hours of the day. In rarer cases of a total eclipse, the sun vanishes into a mere halo of light, casting darkness below.
It’s no wonder that the word eclipse comes from ancient Greek and translates as “I vanish.”
Has some light in your world recently vanished?
Not from a solar phenomenon, but from…well…life. Because we live in an imperfect world with opposition, things are going to get in the way and eclipse your view of peace, happiness, success, or purpose. Shadows can even trick your judgment and blind you to what’s really important.
What’s more, puny problems aligned just-so can appear to be just as immense as the light it covers.
Solar eclipses are cool. Life’s eclipses are not.
And I don’t know about you, but I get afraid of the dark. While some fear is healthy (our inner alert system warning us of danger), most fear is not because it brings with it a truckload of negative reactions, misjudgments, bad behaviors, and paralyzation. Darkness brings fear and fear is destructive.
So what do we do with our eclipses – or better yet – when that darkness brings fear?
I found the answer in a song performed by Zion Choir.
One of the most moving songs Zion Choir sang this last year was entitled I Believe.
It was a piece that prompted tears every time it was sung. Here are the words.
I believe in the sun –
even when it is not shining.
I believe in love –
even when it is not shown.
I believe in God –
even when He is silent.
What made it so stirring was not only the arrangement, vocals, and words, but the story behind the text.
These words were found on a cellar wall in Cologne, Germany following Hitler’s reign of terror in World War II. It was inscribed by a Jew hiding from the Nazis in 1943, and discovered after the war was over. Those hiding in this particular cellar did not make it out alive.
What person could have carved such a conviction?
What heart could have found optimism in such horror?
What eyes could have seen light in such darkness?
The answer – one who chose to view their eclipse with Hope.
The Power of Hope
Hope is an amazing power. It is vision beyond the present. It is the light that sees you through. Hope is assurance that darkness wont last, that you can endure, and that Light is not gone – it is still there.
Absolute Darkness Does Not Exist
Reminds me of a great fact of the universe: There is no such thing as absolute darkness. That’s right. Absolute darkness does not exist. You may look up at the night sky and see black, but the universe has no voids. It is filled with energy. We’re talking stocked, packed, brimming, loaded with energy.
And, guess what? Light is energy. Which means – seen or unseen – light-energy fills every nook and cranny and plane and dimension in our solar system and beyond. There is no such thing as absolute darkness.
Hubble Deep Field
Let me give you an example. In 1995 the Hubble Telescope famously took a picture of the night sky and when scientists zoomed in on a seemingly empty minute dark patch of the sky, they found something remarkable.
Instead of seeing simple darkness or a few distant stars, they discovered hundreds and hundreds of distant galaxies. Hundreds. Of Galaxies! And they knew that within each of those galaxies were trillions and trillions of stars. Trillions!
Blows the mind.
The incredible truth, friends, is that even the darkest sky is filled with more light than we can see or comprehend.
Don’t let your fear of the dark blind you to the presence of Light. And in those moments when you cannot see the light – trust. This was the faith of our Jewish friend. Trust there is a purpose and a Person behind it all and that you will make it through.
Hitting Bottom and Looking Up
Sometimes it takes a little darkness to remind us of the light. Have you noticed that during an eclipse people pay more attention to the sun than they normally would? The same can be said of our struggle. Sometimes hitting bottom gets us to look up.
The television show Resurrection had a scene in which a character was asked, “How could you have hope when you’ve lost everything?”
His response, “When you hit rock bottom, you have nothing to fear. When you have nothing to fear, you have no limits. When there are no limits – that’s when you find God.”
God is not only present in the dark times, sometimes the darkness brings us closer to Him.
So when your world turns midnight black and life hurts, look with Hope to the ever presence of Light, and allow your reach of faith to draw down comfort and healing and strength.
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