In the year 2045, when my grandchildren ask me about the year 2020, I will look around quickly, close the blinds, and say, “that is the year of which we do not speak!”

It has been a wild ride since January.

We are not even halfway through the year, and I am exhausted.  Emotionally, spiritually, mentally, it has been exhausting. It feels as though a heavy fog has fallen over us recently, making it hard to see or move around.

There are times in our lives when darkness seems to take over. For many, the last few months may be one of those times. Our lives have been impacted by sickness, quarantine, and more recently reminders of the racial injustices that face our country and our world. It is easy to be overwhelmed by darkness, to fall prey to the feeling of hopelessness, of helplessness.

Flashlights are underrated.

In moments like this, I am reminded of a simple flashlight. Flashlights are underrated. Gone are the days of candles and torches, now we just need some big batteries, and suddenly we have a stick that emits light. Light is vital. Light is powerful. If you’ve ever been in a dark room and turned on a flashlight, you’ve seen how powerful light truly is. As soon as you push the button, light floods the room. Darkness retreats to the corners of the room. There is no struggle between light and dark. The darkness immediately surrenders to the light.

We are called to be lights in this world (Matthew 5:14-16). We are called to let our light shine before others. In a dark world, our light can make a big difference. Just like how flashlights are more effective in dark rooms, our light shines the brightest when we are surrounded by the darkness of the world. It’s not comfortable. It’s not desired, but it is where we find ourselves on occasion 

Shining our light.

In those occasions, we find our strength and our light from THE light, Jesus Christ (John 8:12). He is the model of how we are to live our lives. We shine our light through our love, our actions, and our words. And whether you are reading this as it is initially published, or years later, there is still going to be darkness in our broken world. We must be reflections of the light of God no matter our circumstance. As difficult as that may seem, it is our light that has the power to push away the darkness. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”  When the darkness creeps up, it is only by being light that we can persevere.

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” 

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Some of you are working, some are taking classes, some are perhaps enjoying some well-earned time off. Whatever stage of life you find yourself in, know that your ability to be a light is not defined by your circumstances. The presence of darkness does not limit the abilities of the light.

The fog will lift.

This may not be a year that we reminisce about. This may not be a time on which we look back fondly. Regardless, God has put us where we are for such a time as this. I challenge you, look for opportunities to be light in a dark world. Look for chances to bring light to those around you. The fog will lift. Until then, though, we are all in this together.