Off the coast of the Mariana islands lays a wonder that, though it can be described, is almost impossible for us to really fathom. At the bottom of the ocean, there is an undersea canyon, called the Mariana Trench. This gash in the ocean floor is five times the length of the Grand Canyon. If Mt Everest was in the trench, its peak would still be over a mile under the surface. Needless to say, the Mariana Trench is deep.
There have been a few missions of exploration within the trench. Three of these were unmanned, but four of them were actually completed by vessels carrying people. While I cannot imagine making that descent, I am fascinated by much of what they have learned about life below the surface.
As one descends, whether in the Mariana Trench or elsewhere in the ocean, they will find their surroundings getting darker and darker. Eventually, you are so far from the surface that you reach a point where no sunlight can reach. There are no plants, because there can be no photosynthesis. The inky black depth envelopes everything. It is so dark, that you can not tell where the surface is by looking. This is darkness, absolute darkness. This is the “Midnight Zone.”
Yet even in this dark place, there are specks of light, glimmers and specks, here and there.
If there is no light from the surface, then where is this light coming from?
Amazingly, the small lights that are found at this depth are coming from bioluminescent sea creatures. Animals that have been designed to create their own light. Among them is the anglerfish, which is equipped with a glow in the dark lure. I remember this one from Nemo.
It is amazing that God has created these animals to be able to survive in total darkness, but in addition to surviving, He equipped them with the ability to create light. He placed within them the power to shine in a place where no other light could be found.
Lately, it feels like we are living in a dark place. Our nation, and the world, is still dealing with a pandemic, economies are shifting, famine is striking, and now our cities are burning. It almost feels like we are in a descent into a place of darkness that would make the midnight zone look like a sunny afternoon. Never in my lifetime have I witnessed so much fear, and even despair. It feels as if many are losing hope.
Sadly, our nation has pushed God so far away that His light seems hard to see in our political, educational, economic, and even some religious structures. We are in a dark place. I feel it. I know you do, too.
Rather than curse the darkness, let’s turn up the light.
But, remember this; In this dark place, we are equipped to shine a light in the darkness. We have the answer to what ails those around us. This world needs Jesus, and we know just how to help them know him better. In this dark place where it seems like no light can be found, we have been equipped to shine.
The only question is, are we shining? Are we living to the glory of God? Are we invading darkness with the light of another world, or are we buying into worldly ideologies and placing our hope in manmade systems rather than the gospel we carry?
We are the light of the world. In times like these, the only light. Let Heaven shine through you. Rather than curse the darkness, let’s turn up the light.
“You are the light of the world.” -Jesus