When it was the sixth hour, darkness fell over the whole land until the ninth hour. And at the ninth hour, Jesus cried out in a loud voice, ‘Eloi, Eloi , lama sabachthani?’ which translated means: ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’ [Mark 15:33]
How many of us are scared of the dark? Probably few of us are as afraid as we once might have been as children, but there is still something about darkness that makes us associate it with the sinister, evil and unknown, when we lie awake in the darkness and struggle with our worries and concerns for ourselves and others. It should not surprise us then that, if there is one thing we can associate with God and one symbol used for Him more than any other, it is light. “The Lord is my light and my salvation”, says Psalm 27; “of whom shall I be afraid?” Or again in Psalm 36, “With you is the foundation of life, in your light we see light”.
I could go on, piling one text after another, but even so, when we know light should fill our lives, there are times when life seems dark, bleak, grim and forbidding – times that have been described as ‘the dark night of the soul’. What should we make of such moments? Where is God in those moments? Must we face them alone? Well, not if the words of the gospels concerning the death of Christ are to be believed, for there we read that darkness covered the land as Jesus hung on the cross. It seemed even to Jesus as though God was not present, but of course the reality was so different.
It was at the cross that God was supremely and astonishingly at work, offering Himself for the life of the world.
Although at the moment, for many, darkness seems to have overtaken the whole world, the reality is that the light of God’s love is shining even brighter than ever and nothing will be able to overcome it. Yes, there are times when, for the Christian as much as any other, life seems dark and God seems far away, but never feel that God has abandoned you, for sometimes it is in the darkest moments that God is there most of all.
God bless and keep safe,