Sometimes life can seem hard

As if the sunshine is permanently hidden behind a cloud,

There is sadness and struggle, fear and loss

And there is no easy path to follow.

I remember when I was ministering in a big church in the wintertime.

It was an unfamiliar building so when all the lights went off shortly before our concert, it was a shock.

I had no idea how to find my way across the pitch dark building

I could hear voices but because of my deafness I couldn’t tell where they were coming from or what they were saying.

I tried calling out but was not sure if I’d been heard.

It felt a scary situation yet it was simply a power cut.  I was perfectly safe yet I still felt vulnerable.

Maybe you feel like that too?

I tried very tentatively, step by step, to make my way to where my friends were.  Step by step in the dark, all the time wondering if I’d got my direction right or if I was about to fall down some steps.

Are you battling today with fearful thoughts of things that may go wrong?

Suddenly, just a short way in front of me I saw a tiny light, a candle!  Someone was there with light.  It was just a tiny flickering flame but it changed everything.  Peace rose in my heart and my fear disappeared. There was light, there was hope. I would be shown the way and I laughed as I remembered how vulnerable being in the dark had made me feel.  But with one small light my perspective was transformed.

God brings that same transformation, light into our darkness, laughter instead of fear.

Yes in the darkness of this present season with all its loss and uncertainty God is shining His Advent light of hope into our hearts.

In the words of Isaiah 9:2: ‘The people walking in darkness have seen a great light.’

Those people felt vulnerable too.  Nothing was safe; nothing was certain.

But God cared and felt their pain

And promised light.

And it was to be a ‘great’ light,

The light of life, of presence, of love.

Not just a tiny flickering candle

But Jesus Himself.

However life is for you today, Jesus comes, offering you the light of hope, of peace and of joy.

In His presence the darkness is dispelled, our fears allayed.

Don’t worry if your faith feels so small you fear it might flicker and go out, for your hope does not rest on how strong you feel, but on Him the light of the World who shines His everlasting light of love into your heart.