“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:5
This month, in the condo building where my wife and I live, a woman committed suicide by jumping out of her ninth floor window and landed on the patio right outside our daughters’ bedroom window (fortunately, they did not see it). This tragedy left people in our building very shaken, as this woman was a well-known and successful businesswoman. I’ve had the opportunity in these past weeks to pastor many of the people in our building as they wrestled with this death, and all the “whys” of the situation. I was grateful for the opportunity to point many of my neighbors to the good news of the gospel and the hope that we can have in Jesus.
In particular, one of my neighbors called me and asked if I would come up to their condo and provide some counseling. This neighbor did not have a relationship with Jesus but wanted to talk through the fear, anguish, and hopelessness that she was feeling. As I sat there and listened to her fears, I opened up my Bible to 1 John 4:18 and read to her, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.” I explained to her that, because of sin, our life is filled with tragedy, fear, and death, but Jesus Christ comes into the midst of our tragedy and restores and repairs our broken hearts to bring us hope right in the middle of our pain and fear. Jesus is the perfect love that drives out our fear so we can rest in him.
“You have seen my affliction; you have known the distress of my soul.” Psalm 31:7
I pray that my neighbor will see the truth of Scripture and the perfect love of Jesus Christ in the midst of death around her because the good news is that Jesus’ mercy is not careful or calculated—it is deep and rich.
Friend, no matter how dark the night gets for you, or the utter feeling of hopelessness, where the will to continue has silenced, remember these dark days will soon give way to the one light, Jesus, who alone brings solace, healing, and redemption. The prophet Isaiah experienced this and wrote, “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone” (Isa. 9:2).
As difficult as our lives can be here, if we don’t know Jesus, what we experience in this life is as good as it will ever get. Knowing Jesus, on the other hand, assures us that this life is as bad as it will ever get, because the perfect, heavenly kingdom of God is coming, a place where Jesus himself will be our eternal light, a place where there will be no more crying, no more pain, and no more death (Rev. 21:4).
This provides us with so much clarity in terms of what we should be spending our time doing while we are living here. We need to be sharing the incredible good news of our Savior Jesus Christ and looking for opportunities to bring his light into the darkness. The darker the night, the brighter the morning sun. It is critical that we do not ignore or avoid these opportunities to share Jesus with people—we have to.
It is hard to confront and see death, but if we know Christ, don’t fear our own bodily deaths (John 6). As Paul said, “Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord” (2 Cor. 5:8). We can long for the day when we get to be with Jesus forever.
Let’s commit to being a people who can show to all those around us, that they don’t have to fear death either. They don’t have to fear! Jesus is alive! Who is in our life and around us, that is fearing death and needs to hear the good news?
“And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.” Revelation 22:5