Mary Johns Nichols
2 The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned. 3 You have enlarged the nation and increased their joy; they rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest, as warriors rejoice when dividing the plunder.
Isaiah 9:2-3 (NIV)
The nation of Israel was walking in darkness in Babylonian captivity. There are times we feel we are walking in the land of deep darkness due to grief, depression, chronic pain or other life setbacks.
After my husband, Wally, died in May of 2000, I had my own time of darkness. He was so young! I was heartbroken! There was no will! There were bills to pay and little income! There were so many documents! The pain of loss was like heavyweights across my chest! Going to work and church with loving friends and family helped me continue the daily task of living.
The following spring, I was outside on my patio and noticed that several bougainvillea plants were growing new leaves after a hard winter. One of them, however, looked totally dead and I moved it aside to throw away. I often sat outside on the patio to read, think and pray. Every time I saw that dead plant, I thought about throwing it away, but it seemed too much effort. Weeks later, long after any hope was left, I saw a leaf starting to grow from that pitiful plant. It wasn’t dead—it had been in darkness. Seeing that plant deciding to survive to bloom again filled me with hope that I could start a new life. I felt God’s presence and light. What joy to feel the darkness melting away!!
Dear Lord, Please help us see your great light and respond to your love with great joy! Amen