Sometimes, troubles, trials, hate, and evil on the earth can make life look very dark. During the recent “Ring of Fire” eclipse, my husband, mother, and I sat in my mother’s front yard wearing our eclipse glasses, watching as the moon slowly moved in front of the sun. The moon is much smaller than the sun, but since it was closer to us, it appeared more prominent. The moon covered all but the edge of the circle of the sun. Darkness can never be greater than light, but when it is closer to us, like the moon in that eclipse, it can temporarily cover the sun from us. God wants us to be assured that He is still there for us, though we may not be able to see that during dark times.
9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. … 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.1 Corinthians 13:9-10, 12
April of 2024 will be a total eclipse. It’s where the moon completely covers the sun. It’s a sign of what’s to come and encouragement for those with faith. It reminds us that no matter how dark it gets, God will come with light and expel the darkness at the right time. God expressly set these little reminders of Him in nature to remind us of His love and presence throughout our lives. When that eclipse comes in April, and we may not see the hints of the sun, like the ring of fire, but that’s okay. It’s God’s reminder that when life mirrors a total eclipse, He is there for us. Like all things on the earth, nothing lasts. We hold onto our faith in Him the encouragement He provides, and we will see the sun again.
the people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.”[a]Matthew 4:16
11 If I try to hide in the darkness, the night becomes light around me. 12 For even darkness cannot hide from God; to you the night shines as bright as day. Darkness and light are both alike to you.Psalm 139:11-12
Piercing the Darkness
Just as when there are clouds, and the figure of the night seems to have eclipsed our view of the sun, we can be assured that He is there, just beyond the darkness. Nothing surprises Him; throughout the ages, He has been with His people even though we couldn’t see Him. Psalm 23 says that we don’t need to fear when we walk through a sunless valley of the shadow of death. Psalm 139 reminds us that there is no such thing as darkness in His eyes; he can see everything. His love pierces the night of our souls; His grace breathes life into our spirits, and His word is our sword that helps us to penetrate our own darkness.
Even though I walk through the [sunless] [a]valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod [to protect] and Your staff [to guide], they comfort and console me.Psalm 23:4
38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[b] neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.Romans 8:38-39
Lord, thank You for the signs in nature and the sky that point to Your sovereignty and goodness. Help me not to fear when the darkness comes, for nothing can separate me from Your love. Thank you for Your goodness and faithfulness to me and Your people. In Jesus’ name, Amen.