On a family campout this summer, we sat around the fire looking up through the trees trying to see the stars. The limbs obscured the night sky so that the stars weren't visible. My oldest granddaughter, Sierra said, "It's too dark to see the stars."
Sometimes it gets too dark to see what you are looking for. This is especially true when faith is tested. We are not alone when we face that dilemma. Some prominent Bible characters have dealt with that difficulty.
Abraham was promised his descendants would become a great nation in Genesis 12. Three chapters later he is still childless and looking for the promise. He built an altar and offered sacrifice to God. He chased vultures away from his sacrifice, then became very sleepy, and endured a deep darkness. When the sun went down, a fire appeared on the sacrifice. Then God reassured him that his succeeding generations would be as the stars in the sky. Years of faithfulness followed as Abraham continued to walk with God. Eventually the promise was fulfilled both literally and spiritually.
Stars can be a great object lesson. God knows both the number of stars and their names according to Psalm 147:4. The verse before that is even more personal; he can heal the brokenhearted and their wounds.
John the Baptist twice identified Jesus as the "Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world." After being imprisoned by King Herod, he sent disciples to inquire of Jesus, "Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another?" He may have been trying to transfer the allegiance of his followers to Jesus with that mission, or the question was prompted by it being "too dark to see." Herod's dungeon was a place where doubts flourished rather than faith.
He wanted to be sure that Jesus was the Messiah, the One for whom he was the forerunner. He must have felt reassured as the disciples returned with the report of healings, miracles, and of truth proclaimed. John faced the darkness of death but he knew the promised Light would continue (see Matthew 3:11).
Light has been symbolic of the presence of God throughout Scripture. Jesus is the light of the world. He promised that those who followed him will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life. His followers are delivered from the power of darkness (see Colossians 1:13).
When it gets "too dark to see" and your faith is faltering, look to the Word of God. Psalms 119:105 says it is a lamp to your feet and a light to your path. The light of Jesus will be your guide.
Mitch Glover is pastor of the Sterling United Pentecostal Church located on Swanson River Road at Entrada. Services on Sunday include Bible classes for all ages at 10:00 a.m. and worship at 11:00 a.m. Thursday Bible study and children's church are at 7:00 p.m.
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