“The people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.” (Matt 4:16, NIV2)
Last time we discovered that we have to come to our senses to realize that there is hope in our despair. As long as our reality is focused on our own grim circumstances, we will remain in the “land of shadow of death”. Yes, it may be our reality, but if we remain stuck in that reality, we will continue to wail in despair. After all, the night will not last forever! The sun will rise once again, proclaiming that there is hope indeed. We only have to remain in darkness because we choose it. There is much more to the “reality” of darkness than what we see!
The “Light” can evaporate our world of gloom in a moment, but we have to come to our senses to truly realize that reality. As long as we hold on to the “realities” of darkness, hope will be elusive. However, once we accept the reality of the “Light” and bathe in it, there is no way we would ever reconsider returning to dwell in the sinister world of the shadow of death!
Have we ever noticed how people always become cheerful when the sun is shining? What stops us from being that way all the time? Need help? Call the Son, who will shed light upon our soon-to-be-victory!
“Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” (Ps 23:4, NIV2)
Germany had been defeated and Belgium was now completely free. Hitler did not give up in his plans to conquer the world so easily, however, and he planned a contra-evasive plan. He would attack the Ardennes in Belgium and push his army to Antwerp, where he would rebuild his navy. This battle was called the battle of the Bulge, because of the fact that for several weeks, this resulted in a seventy by fifty mile “bulge” into the Allied territory in the Ardennes.
When that battle came into the vicinity of Emile’s village, near Bastogne, Belgium, Emile’s parents were truly concerned about their twelve-year-old son. Emile’s father owned a bicycle store, but since Nazi occupation meant it would be forbidden to ride bikes during the occupation, selling bikes would soon become impossible.
Before the Nazis arrived, Emile’s parents sent their son off on a bike to his uncle in Bastogne. Hopefully it would be safer there! Before letting their son go, Emile’s father promised him that when the war was over for good, they would bike together to the North Sea and enjoy the beach.
Although Emile endured hardships due to the German bombings, his uncle had enough food and clean water, and he survived the war. Sadly, he would never see his parents again. When the Nazis invaded his home town, a radio was found in the church steeple. As a consequence of that fact, the Nazis rounded up several civilians, including Emile’s father, and executed them all. His mother would later succumb to the very last German bombings.
After a few months, when Hitler’s army had been driven away, thanks to the perseverance of the Allied soldiers, Emile was able to return home, only to find that the bike shop had been completely annihilated and both of his parents were gone. Darkness filled his soul, along with hatred towards those nasty Nazis. He could have remained in this deep dark forever, but that’s not what his parents would have wanted for him. He eventually came to his senses and opted for the hope emanating from the Light. He decided to keep his dad’s promise, and he biked to the coast of Belgium. Later he reopened the bike shop in his village, to honor the memory of his dad. One day, after all, he would see his parents again, in a much better place.
There is always hope. It all depends on whether or not we come to our senses!
(To access the entire “Little Light of Mine” devotional series, please click here.)