Psalm 23:4; Matthew 4:16; Various
When the Sun Stops Shining
Psalm 23:4; Matthew 4:16; Various
Good evening and welcome to BCCC and our nightly devotional study. Psalm 23:4 - “Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me” (NLT).
There is a small Norwegian town named Rjukan, which sits deep in the narrow Vestfjord Valley in the Telemark rejion of south-west Oslo. The towering peaks that surround it rise to almost 2,000 meters above sea level and block out the sunlight for half the year, meaning Rjukan residents live in a permanent shadow from September to March. But in 2013 the town spent over $850,000 to install a giant mirror with computer tracking to send a constant beam of sunlight down the mountainside to the town. Why to brighten up the previously gloomy town center and cheerup the local residents. The plan worked so well that other towns have done the same thing.
Sunlight actually helps us to be healthy physically, spiritually, and emotionally. When we don’t get enough sunlight we can feel ill. This illness is ironically called SAD. It stands for Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that's related to changes in seasons — SAD begins and ends at about the same times every year. If you're like most people with SAD, your symptoms start in the fall and continue into the winter months, sapping your energy and making you feel moody. The treatment for SAD is phototherapy which includes sitting in artificial sunlight or changing the lighting in your house. It’s not just the winter blues that we’re talking about here. The symptoms of SAD may include: Feeling depressed most of the day, nearly every day. Losing interest in activities you once enjoyed. Having low energy. Having problems with sleeping. Experiencing changes in your appetite or weight. Feeling sluggish or agitated. Having difficulty concentrating. Feeling hopeless, worthless or guilty. Having frequent thoughts of death or suicide.
Just like sunlight is important to your health, Son Light, or the light of God’s Son, Jesus, is also important to your spiritual life. We all go through times of suffering, hardship and tribulation where the light of Jesus may be blocked by our circumstances. Although Jesus is there we may not feel the warmth of his love and grace. We may feel like we are in the deep darkness. Sooner or later, we will all face an obscure moment. We will feel alone, helpless, and overwhelmed by a burden that seems to crash our souls.
I have become very concerned with people who are going through this right now because of the covid-19 outbreak and the restrictions that have been placed on us because of it. In these “valley of the shadow of death” moments, you may find yourself saying, “Jesus, I know you are there but I cannot feel your presence…I cannot feel your light. I believe that you can help me but please, can you do it faster?” It is precisely in these moments when most of us cry out, “Lord, where are you? Why have you forsaken me?”
Even Jesus endured a dark moment. Yes, Jesus the Son of God experienced such a dark moment that even the ambiance around Him changed. Darkness came over the whole land from noon until three in the afternoon. The Earth became dark because the Sun stopped shining. Can you imagine the most challenging moment of your life surrounded by darkness on the inside and the outside? It was such an obscure and difficult time that Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46)
Are you in a valley of loneliness? Sin? Rejection? Failure? Addiction? Financial ruin? If today you find yourself crying out in the darkness I want you to know that you are not alone; The Lord is with you. Take this dark moment and turn it into an enlightening one. Embrace it as an opportunity to discover greater intimacy. Allow Jesus to shine the light of his love into your heart
Matthew 4:16 says, “The people who live in darkness have seen a great light, and for those living in the shadowland of death, light has dawned” (HCSB).
PRAYER THOUGHT: Dear Father of Light, Thank you for the warmth and comfort of you love and protections. Please shine your light, your glory, on those who are lost in the deep darkness that surrounds them. Remind us of grace and mercy. Give us renewed hope in you. We praise you for Jesus and the gift of life and light that we have in him. It is in the name of Jesus that we pray. AMEN!
“Good night and God bless you.”