My grandfather suffered from macular degeneration, a condition that gradually deteriorated his retinas. Slowly worsening. Slowly dimming. Slowly distorting. His vision closing in over time.
My life can feel that way sometimes.
At first, I am feeling relaxed and free. I am connected to those I love. I know my purpose and I am confidently walking my path. Things are gliding along smoothly, until darkness begins to upset the balance.
Something as simple as reading the news or scrolling through posts and headlines in my social media feeds can impact my emotions for hours and even days.
That sunshiney space where I’m living begins to dim, overcast with the sin of the world and fear of what is to come. Tiny worries creep in from the periphery and my vision starts to cloud. Anxiety slowly closes in, my chest tightens, and things appear darker and darker. The weight of my worry can be crushing and I pray Jesus, come save us soon.
And then there is the inside out.
Sometimes my own mistakes and short-comings weigh on me, long after the action or word. My own sins, eating away at the good things God has granted me. My guilt and shame bleeding out, staining life’s treasures. I’m caught in despair and I pray please Lord Jesus, free me from my mess.
Please tell me you can relate.
My young daughter sometimes worries about heaven. She can’t imagine leaving the things precious to her in this earthly life. Our comfy home and her bright bedroom full of books. Her adoring grandparents and dear cousins. Her droopy but well-loved stuffed monkey.
And I get it. There is comfort and familiarity in this life we know. There are also soaring highs from the wonder and beauty of this world.
How lucky are we? How greatly God has blessed us with this world and all its beauty, light, and love. All this loveliness in a place that is nothing more than a stop on our journey.
So I understand her apprehension, but I am positioned toward a different vantage point – one offering a wider view. During my extra years on this earth, I’ve amassed a collection of experiences that happens to include more instances of hurt, brokenness, and pain. I’ve grown weary, watching as darkness obscures the light, and in some moments I can’t help but long for what is ahead.
God tells us though, that there is no cause for fear. Our present situations may feel dire, but rescue has already come. The world can seem scary, but He has overcome the world. The darkness can be suffocating and seem impenetrable, but He speaks light, and the darkness dissolves.
Just like that. Gone.
My heart finds peace knowing the light wins. God already conquered the darkness when He sent His son Jesus to free us from sin. The darkness we see is temporary and the light that is coming will be unlike anything we can imagine.
We can live in fear of the dark, or we can bravely raise our heads and lift our faces skyward, knowing the light will come.
“Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and his glory appears over you. Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn.” Isaiah 60:1-3 NIV