Sunday, November 20, 2011

A Darkness you can feel

This morning, my class will be studying what we call the plague of darkness. By this time in our study, the Egyptians are pretty well battered. They've suffered everything from blood in the water to locusts on the green.

The LORD has shown god after Egyptian god to be just what they are, worthless idols. As He approaches His grand finale, He calls out the big Egyptian kahuna, Ra, the god of the sun.

That's one way to look at it anyway, and I agree that view has merit, but there's so much more.

You see, what they experienced wasn't a mere eclipse. Even in an eclipse, there's a sliver of light.  No, what God created wasn't an eclipse of the sun. It was utter darkness, a picture of the very essence of Hell.

Then, the LORD said to Moses, "Stretch out your hand toward the sky so that darkness will spread over Egypt - a darkness which can be felt."  
(Exodus 10:21)

A darkness which can be felt.

The words used describe a heavy, dense, dampness. Even if the Egyptians could have seen to get around, and they couldn't, they wouldn't have been able to kindle a flame. This darkness would have snuffed it out before it started.

Utter darkness snuffs out even the artificial light.

Years ago, the Farm Sister and I took our girls on a trip to Tennessee. While there, we visited a place called The Lost Sea. It's a dark body of water deep below the earth's surface. To reach it, you have to spiral down the descending path of a cavern.  We were nearing the bottom of the pit when our tour guide stopped and  told us that we were going to experience something almost impossible to experience above.

He called it utter darkness.

He needed our cooperation, though. We had to cover up any source of  light we were carrying,  no matter how tiny. We covered watch faces and turned off cameras. One little girl was wearing sneakers with those little flashers on them so he asked her mother to stoop down and cover them with her hands.  

And then, he turned off the light.

There we stood in utter darkness. It took about two seconds to realize just how dark it was, too.  I couldn't make out face or form of the girls, even though I knew they were right next to me. Miss Whimsy called out to me, and I tried my best to grope around and hold her because I knew she was scared. It's impossible to describe that darkness. It's a darkness that must be felt.

Awesome as it was, though, it isn't the darkness that I remember most from that day. It's what happened next.

That mother moved one hand away from a sneaker light.

In an instant... in the twinkling of an eye as they say... that one tiny light pierced the darkness.

It flashed, and then it glowed. Before long, I could make out forms around me. It wasn't utter darkness any more. When Mama removed her other hand, the second light added to the first, and well... you know where I'm going with this.

To say that I was grateful for that little light is an understatement. Standing in utter darkness, it meant everything to me.

In this season of thanksgiving, I find myself expressing gratitude for so many things. They're good things  like my faith, and my home and family. This morning, though, I'm stopping to be thankful for all the little lights in my world who refuse to be snuffed out, who do their part no matter how small,  to pierce the darkness.

You know who you are...

Even more,  I'm thankful for a Savior named  Jesus who reached all the way down into a Darkness named Debbie and called me out of it into His marvelous light.

And this little light of mine? I'm gonna let it shine...

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