And when they saw the star, they were so ecstatic that they shouted and celebrated with unrestrained joy.
Matthew 2:10, TPT
Walking through the shadowy lands of this life and earth, oh how I long for light. In my efforts, my achievements, and my striving, I find myself falling deeper into the darkness, a darkness that opens up beneath the ache inside me that cannot be filled. No matter how much knowledge, riches, or power I attain, the ache is still there at the gaping mouth of the darkness, darkness which is trying to swallow me whole.
Where is the light? Where is the rescue from this darkness? Falling to my knees in the middle of my abundance (or perhaps it’s in the center of my lack?) I break open to the knowledge that I am incapable of rescuing myself. And there I finally whisper…
“Oh light, if you exist, please shine on me.”
Looking up, I see a glimmer of something on the horizon. It’s hardly enough light for me to even see my fingers in front of my face, but I stand and move toward it, for isn’t it the only light there is? As I slowly walk forward, the light becomes brighter. Somehow it even seems to be moving toward me as I move toward it.
My surroundings go from black to grey, and I turn around to glance at the darkness – the seething darkness that is so black it seems alive – and it’s threatening to draw me back in. At least in the dark I couldn’t see what I was missing. At least in the dark my inadequacies were felt only by me, and couldn’t be seen by others.
Dare I keep walking into the light? Light exposes. Darkness hides.
Oh but the ache! The ache is unbearable. I must – yes I must – continue toward the light.
The grey lifts to a pale color, and I see the mud smeared on my hands, my arms, my feet. I realize it must be on my face, too, and I nearly buckle under the shame of it. Had I been living in darkness so long I couldn’t even recognize the feeling, the scent, the weight of the mud of shame and sin that was caked on my skin? As the light exposes me, the more I want to slink back to the darkness – and yet – this desire is powerfully outweighed by the desire to be fully known in the light, even if it means arriving in disgrace.
There, there above a small stable, I see the source of the light. A star. The most beautiful, brilliant star, nestled in radiant, pulsing peace above the homeliest of hovels on top of a hill. For a moment I am frozen in place. Is it possible that the hope of my salvation from the darkness is inside this most unlikely of places?
The ache inside of me, the ache for light, has caused my heart to race within me. I have nothing left to lose. I must follow the light.
I walk up the hill and hear the braying of a donkey, the bleating of a lamb. And then, something I never expected to hear in an animal stable…the cry of a baby. When this sound reaches my ears, it somehow pierces through my soul, cracking me open and releasing a teardrop which runs through the mud smeared on my face. Why is there a baby in the stable?
I hurry to the doorway and walk into the most incredible scene: a young man hovering over a teenage girl...who is holding a tiny baby.
For reasons unknown to me, seeing the baby breaks down all of my defenses, and I fall to my knees right there in the doorway of the stable and begin to weep. As I weep, the light from the star above the stable seeps in through the doorway, wraps around the baby, and then wraps around me. I stare at the baby, awed by the light that is enfolding Him, and suddenly realize, He is the star. HE is the light that drew me out of the darkness.
He is the hope and the promise of my soul. He is the One who can save me. And I believe.
I look at Him and I whisper, “I believe!”
All at once, I am clean. I am new. I am filled with ecstasy and joy knowing that I no longer need to carry my shame – for this little one is going to carry it for me. Oh blessed Messiah…
Arise, shine, for your light has come,
and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.
…you will look and be radiant,
your heart will throb and swell with joy.
Isaiah 60:1&5a, NIV
“I, Jesus…am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.”
The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let the one who hears say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.
Revelation 22:16-17, NIV