Note: this was a guest-post at SawyerMarie’s lovely blog, SundropGirls. Thank you, dear!! I’m now reposting it to my own blog 🙂 If you have any comments, please go do it over at her blog, as a favour to me 😉 And consider giving her a follow!
I’m the girl who wrote the post about the darkest hour being just before dawn for the 7 Days of Hope Blog Tour.
Today I listened again to the song I’d linked to in that post. I stopped to think again about the phrase, “It’s the darkest just before dawn.”
The first thing that struck me is the admission that it is dark. We’re not painting a big yellow sun in the corner of the sky, like some parody of the card knights in Alice in Wonderland. We’re admitting, freely and frankly, that it’s dark. It’s dark, y’all. The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) defines dark as, “with little or no light.”
“For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people:” (Isaiah 60:2 KJV)
So yes, it’s dark. We admit it. We know it. It’s dark.
But what’s the next thing that quote says?
Before indicates that something is coming. What is coming?
“The first appearance of light in the sky before sunrise.” (OED)
The light is appearing, guys.
The sun is going to rise.
“Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.
For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and His glory shall be seen upon thee.
And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.” (Isaiah 60:1-3 KJV)
It’s the darkest just before dawn every morning. That’s when neither the stars nor the moon nor the sun is to be seen. But the light is coming.
It was at this point in my reflections that I surprised myself by thinking, “So, in every circumstance really, it’s the darkest just before dawn.”
“How can you say that?” I asked myself.
Then I slowly began to see.
It seems that the darkest just before dawn is even Biblical. Romans 13:12 says, “And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.” At this point, some years after the death of Christ, Paul informed the Christians that the night was almost over and Day was coming. In 2 Thessalonians 2:7, he says, “For the mystery of iniquity doth already work:” 1 John 2:18 says, “Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.” And the famous last words by Christ Jesus in Revelation 22:20 are, “Surely I come quickly.”
Where am I going with this? Hang on and you’ll see.
We all know the end. But just in case you need to be reminded…
“Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, ‘Death is swallowed up in victory.’ O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Cor. 15:51-57)
“For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” (1 Thess. 4:14-17)
“Then cometh the end, when He shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when He shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign, till He hath put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. For He hath put all things under His feet.” (1 Cor. 15:24-27)
“Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it. And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there.” (Rev. 21:3-4, 23-25)
I think you’ll agree with me that this is Light? And that when this is coming closer to us, it’s a type of dawn?
Do you remember, though, that before the dawn can come there must be darkness? Do you remember 2 Peter 3, 2 Thessalonians 2, 1 Thessalonians 5, 2 Timothy 3 & 4, 1 Timothy 4, and the whole book of Revelations? Do you remember that we have been warned that gross (great; palpable) darkness shall cover the earth?
The darkest must come before dawn can arrive.
If we are saved, then all darkness leads to Light for us. Yes, I mean it. All darkness. Depression, abuse, mistakes, tragedies, death… they all lead to the light. In each one God’s glory may shine out and bring people to Him. And at the end of each is Heaven—perfect Light.
Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary (my personal favourite) defines dark as “Destitute of light; obscure. A dark atmosphere is one which prevents vision. Gloomy; disheartening; having unfavorable prospects.”
It’s hard to see in the darkness.
It’s hard to see that there’s light ahead of us.
It’s hard to remember that dawn is coming.
But it’s in the darkness that Light shows up the brightest.
It’s the darkest just before dawn. Hang in there. Night is ending and day is coming. The end is drawing close, and at the end of that end is The Light—Jesus Christ the Crucified.
It’s dark now. But it’s okay. It’s supposed to be dark.
The day is coming.