Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "At Even When The Sun Was Set"1 (Lyrics)
Luke 1:79 – To give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace. (NKJV)
I started to read the New Testament while walking on my treadmill five days each week. Some passages about Jesus being the light of hope in a dark world caught my eye and made me think of an event which happened a few years ago.
One of my cousins was diagnosed with a fatal illness. He was elderly and had been doing really well, but suddenly, he started to feel worse. At first, it was thought that he had the flu, and then later, it was confirmed that he had only a few weeks to live. He was a very faithful, believing Christian. In his younger years, he had been a youth leader, and he had been an elder in his church for many years. At one time, he even contemplated going into the ministry, but for various reasons, he was not able to pursue this ambition. He was married and raised a Christian family.
I went to visit him, and we had a long talk about his life and the time when he worked for my dad when my dad was ill so many years ago. He talked about his time in the army in the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia), and gradually, we got around to his illness. He told me that when he was first told that he had only a few weeks to live, he went through a really deep valley. He said that for three days, he was in total darkness. He said that he had never experienced anything like it. He knew that he believed; he was sure of his faith; he knew that there was a place reserved for him in heaven; and yet, he went through this period of darkness for three days and three nights.
And then after three days, he suddenly saw a bright light in the distance which gradually penetrated the darkness that he was in, and he was at peace. I marvelled at the way that he was at peace with his situation and how assured that he was of his faith in Jesus. His time of darkness was over, and he quoted the well-known psalm:
Psalm 23:4 – Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. (NKJV)
Yes, he surely did walk through the valley of the shadow of death for three terrifying days, and then, the peace that only Jesus can give encompassed him, and he was assured, through faith, that he would dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
That is the great comfort of the Word of God. When the time comes for those who trust in Him, we are assured that Christ will guide our feet across the great divide, and we, too, will live in the house of the Lord forever.
Prayer: Our Father in heaven, we thank You for the words of Scripture which are such a comfort to us in times of trouble. We thank You that whatever dark situation we are in, You will give us light. We offer this prayer in Jesus' name. Amen.