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Signposts: Daily Devotions

Written by Susan Hanson

Monday, December 6

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness—on them light has shined.
—Isaiah 9:2

Anyone who’s ever lived in an area where a solar eclipse has been visible knows the drill: Never look directly at the sun, not even when it’s partially hidden. Doing so can lead to serious injury or blindness—even with as much as 99% of the sun hidden from view. Given the fact that what we’re talking about is in reality a never-ending nuclear blast, this shouldn’t come as a surprise. 

At its core, where six million tons of matter are converted into energy every second, the sun can reach a temperature of 20 million degrees K—roughly 36 million degrees Fahrenheit. Who could look into such brilliance and not be radically changed?

Because we live every day in its presence, it’s easy to forget the force of the sun. But for those who, for whatever reason, have been plunged into darkness—as prisoners, perhaps, like those in Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave”—the light is unbearably bright.

Analogously, those of us who have grown up in the church, never knowing anything else, often become complacent about the impact of God in our lives. We forget that with divinity comes an energy far greater than that of any sun. 

Conversely, those who have “lived in a land of deep darkness” don’t so easily forget. Coming into the light at last, they understand not only the greatness of their need, but also the greatness of the God who saves them.

O God whose light illumines the world, help us to remember that your power is greater than any darkness, your mercy stronger than any hatred or fear.

These Signposts originally appeared on explorefaith in 2004.