In the DarknessBy BRO. TERRY IVY,
“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (John 1:5) Darkness, in its purest sense, is not a property or a thing in itself. Instead, darkness is the absence of light. Shades of darkness are actually different shades of light.
The worldwide coronavirus pandemic has plunged our nation and communities into darkness. The darkness of fear, the darkness of panic, the darkness of closing businesses, the darkness of economic pain. And the pressure from all of these reveals the most significant issue—the presence of spiritual darkness. The worst of people is seen when times are tough. America’s spiritual darkness of greed by price gougers of medical masks and other necessities. We see the hoarding of supplies, which is equivalent to flipping the finger to the elderly and vulnerable in our communities.
On the other hand, tough times can bring out the best in some people. People sacrificing and taking care of their neighbors. None are more important than the healthcare community, truck drivers, and farmers. They need our prayers like never before.
Have you ever met a car that had its headlights on during the day? You barely pay attention to it. However, if it is nighttime, those same headlights become beacons for safety. During times of darkness, the light becomes a beacon of hope and clarity.
Jesus came as the “light of the world.” (John 8:12) He alone pierces the darkness of this world and gives hope, direction, stability, and clarity. We can either give in to the anxiety and panic or allow the light of Christ to strengthen us and calm all fears. This does not mean we should throw caution to the wind and act foolishly or glibly, for there are many in our community who are vulnerable to the dangers of this virus.
Important to note that Jesus also called the church “the light of the world.” (Matt. 5:14) What a great responsibility. Believers bear the burden to demonstrate the wisdom, care, and love of God to a frightened world. Faith is never an excuse for foolishness or an arrogant response during this time. The world is watching, and believers collectively bear the burden of shining light into the darkness.
How do we shine the light of God during this time? There are several things we can do. We can fail to be the hoarders we have all seen in stores. The elderly are more vulnerable, and they need our protection, not our neglect. We can call and check to see if our neighbors need those of us who are able-bodied to shop for them or run errands. If we all did a little, our communities would be taken care of.
As believers, we should do our part to calm fears and offer solutions. It is a time like no other in our lifetime to demonstrate the light of God’s love and care to a watching world. It is a time to let God set us on a hill like the lighthouse of truth we are called to be. Together, we can shine… in the darkness!