I walk through the yard, my way lit only by the lights from the school.
Within, only one room is lit: the cafeteria, where we meet for Bible study. I'd rather go to bed early, but I have to lead this thing. My mood is also dark, and I am weary.
But God does what He always does; He meets us in the darkness and lightens while he enlightens.
His Word never denies the hard realities of life in this world. The darkness is oppressive, sometimes suffocating. Never once does He tell us to deny it, or to pretend it is light.
Nor does He tell us to fight the darkness in our own strength.
There in that small lighted room surrounded by a dark building, dark parking lot, dark fields, and a dark and fallen world, a small handful of God's people come in to the light of His presence.
It is not entirely comfortable. Our weakness is exposed. Our part in the darkness is also exposed: we belong here, really, as we consider the darkness that we have invited into our own hearts. The light burns as it exposes.
But He wounds only to heal.
Turn us, O Lord, that we may be healed, and grant us repentant hearts.
By grace are we healed; by grace we are called into His presence, and covered with the robes of Christ's righteousness. By grace, we are given strength to wait, strength to look forward, even as the darkness gathers, to the breaking dawn.
Come, Lord Jesus.
(If your soul needs a song of inspiration to sing while you wait through the oppressive night, listen to this wonderful advent hymn)