Bible Reading: Psalm 139. 7 - 12
Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.
The weather has turned colder, we’ve had the first frosts and the long dark nights are upon us. We are now a week into a further lockdown. Perhaps in the circumstances, we could be forgiven for feeling a bit jaded. Motivation is ebbing and the idea of hibernation in a cosy blanket in front of the television looks increasingly tempting.
Prior to moving to Walgrave, we lived in a village between Sheffield and Rotherham. I say village, but that was long ago. The ex-mining, ex-steel village of Brinsworth has been gradually swallowed up into suburbia. The vicarage was situated on a main road on a busy bus route between the city and the neighbouring town. Brinsworth streets were bright and well-lit all through the night. What’s more, the M1 all but went through the vicarage garden with its extra tall lights surrounding Junction 33.
Consequently, moving to Walgrave was a bit of a culture shock. Now don’t get me wrong, I love living in Walgrave in a ‘real’ village, but here the nights are - well - dark! In fact, very dark with widely spaced streetlights. I need a torch to get to the bottom of the drive, let alone venture further.
It’s therefore encouraging to remember that God doesn’t have a problem in the dark. The dark and the light are just the same to him. God is always with me no matter where I go, day or night. He guides me and his hand holds me fast. What is more, the darkness always holds some treasures of its own.
With the lack of light pollution out in the countryside, it may be extra dark but the stars can be amazing, each constellation vivid and bright in its allotted place - a further reminder of our great God and his handiwork.
As we continue through this second lockdown, let’s keep our eyes open for the unexpected treasures in the darkness, which only shine forth because it is so dark.
Faithful God, thank you for your constant presence in the dark places and the uncertainties of this life. Guide me by your hand and hold me fast. Amen.
Light of the world