The Lord reigns, let the earth rejoice; let the many coastlands be glad! Clouds and thick darkness are all around him; righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne.
A couple of weeks ago I was out in the woods doing some hunting. We were about 2 miles in and it got dark. Luckily we had a road to walk on to get back to the truck – and a flashlight! At one point in our walk in the dark I turned off the flashlight. It was dark! Very hard to see where we were going. When it is dark it is hard to move, especially when you turn off the light. It can be very disorienting and scary. I didn’t leave the light off for long before turning it back on – maybe just a step or two.
Many of us might find ourselves in the dark. We might be having great difficulty moving forward either in life in general or forward through a particular problem or season of life. In those moments who or what do you turn to for light – for direction? How do you know they are leading you in the right direction and what do you do when they are not around – when the light goes out?
What really strikes me about this Psalm is that it says God is surrounded by clouds and thick darkness. God knows what it is like to be in the dark. He is in the midst of our darkness. He is with us on that journey with us. I know we might be tempted to turn to someone or something other than Him for direction. We might even find that we have put our hope for salvation from the darkness in a human made system, a person, or even a substance. But, none of those things or people can offer what God does. They aren’t always in the darkness with you, but God is.
The last time we see God in the darkness He brings forth life (Genesis 1-2). He brings order to chaos. He declares light where there once wasn’t any. We can, and should, ask other people for help and invite others to join us in our darkness so they can help us out, but ultimately our hope should reside in God. Ultimately, He is the only one who can truly transform the darkness into light.
Your road might be pretty dark today, but know that God is right there with you. Trust Him for the light you need so you don’t get lost and can keep moving forward.
Pastor Matt Huff leads Portland Central Nazarene Church. He loves being in ministry and seeing lives transformed by the power of Christ.