Overcoming dark places.
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It’s hard to imagine that a family of five lives here. Two of them are young boys. Their family came to Bangkok from the countryside hoping to make their lives better. But soon the city swallowed them up into the darkness of poverty that so many others succumb to, and they found themselves without work and without a place to live. They laid a corrugated sheet of metal over the space between two houses in a dangerous alley, put up some well used wood doors and called it home. They have no electricity. No running water. No light. It’s just dark inside. The boys’ mom and dad work as day laborers, but spend a lot of what little they earn on alcohol. Their grandfather drives a taxi but struggles with his own addictions. The youngest boy was greatly affected by all of this and quietly kept to himself at his school. He was sullen and withdrawn. But some of his teachers wouldn’t let him hide in the darkness. They lived by these words:
“Feed the hungry, and help those in trouble. Then your light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon.”
Isaiah 58:10 (New Living Translation)
Soon he came out of hiding. It took almost a year, but he began to change, becoming more outgoing, laughing and having fun when he was with those who loved him. They gave him light and hope.
His circumstances haven’t changed much, but his outlook has. That’s what the light of hope does for us. Christ knew we would need a lot of hope in a world full of darkness. He knows that every one of us has dark places in our mind, heart and soul. And He knows exactly what those are—we cannot hide in the dark from Him.
“But even in darkness I cannot hide from you. To you the night shines as bright as day. Darkness and light are the same to you.”
Psalm 139:12 New Living Translation
“This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all.”
John 1: 5 New Living Translation
Thankfully, His power is not affected by the dark. Christ shines brightly in the midst of our darkness—the darkness never touches Him—He chases it away! He restores our hope.
“As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.”
1 Peter 2:9 New Living Translation
Thank you, Lord, for giving me light in this dark world. And if I see someone else trapped in darkness, help me to shine your light of hope that leads them out of their darkness and straight to You, the Light of the World! Amen.
Copyright photo and text Desiree Bustamante