The sun came up this morning. When I went to bed last night, the darkness was dense and endless. But sometime while I was sleeping, the sun slid up over the horizon and dissolved the blackness that a thousand floodlights could never completely dispel. And the only reason this fact is not jaw-dropping is because we have seen it every single morning. We know that the darkness will be gone within a matter of hours.
But Adam didn’t. When he spotted the sun falling lower and lower, pulling its warmth and life-giving light with it, I wonder if a twinge of concern filled his chest. Undoubtedly, he went to the Creator with it. “Lord, what is happening? I can’t see anything—not my hand in front of my face, not Your creation, not You! Are You still working the bugs out of the system? Because I kind of liked that sun!” And when the sun rose again the next morning, I can only imagine Adam’s delighted laugh and childlike rejoicing. “The sun! It’s back!” That night, a darkness that was impossibly massive and cold fell again, but as Adam lay on his back on the ground, he must have noticed glitters of light materializing above him. The darkness was not triumphant, after all!
And this is what I have to remind myself every day. The darkness around me is irrelevant. Ancient Rome had pitch black darkness. Sodom and Gomorrah were filled with darkness like coal. Moreover, Jesus may tarry for another millenium and the remnant of believers in the year 2752 may moan about the darkness of their society that is so unlike any other darkness in history.
But God sends impenetrable darkness every single night, along with moon, stars, and finally the sun that penetrate the impenetrable, and therein lies our hope: no darkness is too deep for God’s light. Romans 13:12-14 says,
“The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.”
Candles provide a flicker of light. Lamps offer up light, too, but they aren’t consumed by it, and they can’t light others on fire. A firebrand, though, is different altogether! We are not the firebrands that are dancing and shouting in the streets of Egypt or the kind that are starting riots for their own amusement. We are pieces of ordinary, non-light-giving wood kindled at a fire, the fire of our Lord Jesus Christ. We are consumed by His fire, His light, and materialize all through the darkness, glowing red-hot and lighting the darkest of caves and the blackest of nights until all the world is a wildfire.
We aren’t rebellious, but we are revolutionary.
We aren’t contentious, but we may offend some people. I Corinthians 1:23 says,
“But we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness.”
We aren’t angry, but we are passionate.
We are "blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world. (Phil. 2:15)"
Truly, the night is far spent, the day is at hand. Fellow firebrands, join me in lighting the world on fire with the Gospel!
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Picture Credit: garryknight