In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.” Gen. 1:1-3
For some people life is, for the most part, an extended moment of mundane existence punctuated by those coveted moments of extreme joy and the dreaded times of sorrow. For some downtrodden souls even this is optimistic. There are people who would describe their lives as being, “formless and empty,” filled with “darkness.” I bring this up because when God spoke “in the beginning” He spoke into just such darkness.
For those who live in darkness there is hope.
This thought echoes through my mind as I consider the New Year. It is not the year that concerns me; a new year has come many times. What I want to see is transformation in areas that have been pining for change for years. This year is just another year for my weakened hope to rise and look with tear-filled eyes towards the rising sun.
Anyone who knows me knows that I am a hopeful person—some have said an idealist. So be it! I hold deeply to my ideals and I am a hope-filled person who believes there is more to life than meets the eye.
How can I believe otherwise when I serve a God who, as far as the eye is concerned, is invisible? I cannot see Him or touch Him yet He has filled me with hope. Scripture testifies that when God came into the World things changed and they changed for the better. Suddenly there was hope where there had been no hope. Suddenly there was light where darkness had reigned.
“The people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned” (Matt. 4:16).
Earlier there was God’s initial declaration in Genesis 1:3, “Let there be light.” Suddenly out of chaos—order. At His word darkness gave up light.
There are no dark corners where the Light of God cannot reach. “There is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open” (Luke 8:17). The God of justice will be just. The merciful God will be merciful. The loving God will, in His love, carry out justice and mercy. In this there is hope.
In song, Sam Cook expressed the place many may find themselves in this New Year—wounded, but hopeful. Cook sung,
“There been times that I thought I couldn’t last for long
But now I think I’m able to carry on
It’s been a long, a long time coming
But I know a change gon’ come, oh yes it will
It was indeed a long time coming. God prepared the place, the people and the time and when it was time to speak He sent angels. Into a Virgin’s womb He spoke and His Spirit moved, “Let there be light.” And the light of the world had come—Emmanuel.
For all that dwells those who dwell in the valley of the shadow of death there is light and there is hope.