Stars shine brightest in the darkest of nights. Though they are always present, the brilliance of their ever-glowing light is most visible to us in the midst of darkness. The bleaker the night sky, the more beauty we see of the stars in the heavens.
The Christian life is much the same way. Darkness makes way for the light of Christ. Difficulties open the door for God’s power and might to be revealed. Life is found in death. Joy is found in sorrow. God’s riches are uncovered as we become aware of our need. Grace is discovered in the midst of our sin. Losses lead to gain.
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted” (Matthew 5:4).
“The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18).
“Unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds” (John 12:24).
“For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it” (Mark 8:35)
“I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him” (Philippians 3:8-9)
God is a Redeemer. He brings light out of darkness and life out of death.
The entire Christian life from beginning to end follows this pattern of life through death. That’s why The Valley of Vision, a collection of Puritan prayers and devotions begins with this prayer (may we make it our own today):
Lord, High and Holy, Meek and Lowly,
Thou has brought me to the valley of vision,
where I live in the depths but see thee in the heights;
hemmed in by mountains of sin I behold thy glory.
Let me learn by paradox
that the way down is the way up,
that to be low is to be high,
that the broken heart is the healed heart,
that the contrite spirit is the rejoicing spirit,
that the repenting soul is the victorious soul,
that to have nothing is to possess all,
that to bear the cross is to wear the crown,
that to give is to receive,
that the valley is the place of vision.
Lord, in the daytime stars can be seen from deepest wells,
and the deeper the wells the brighter thy stars shine;
Let me find thy light in my darkness,
thy life in my death,
thy joy in my sorrow,
the grace in my sin,
thy riches in my poverty,
thy glory in my valley.
God never wastes trials, difficulties, and pain. If you are in the darkness, He is near to you. Look up and let the light of Christ Himself shine upon you.