By Lana Christian
Photo by Nathan Jennings on Unsplash
John Krasinski’s program Some Good News was a light in the darkness of 2020. Between March and May, it garnered more than 72 million views and 2.5 million YouTube subscribers. We sure could use more SGN episodes (hint, hint, ViacomCBS).
But 2021 hasn’t eased authors’ social media comments about lack of focus and creativity. Some people describe the struggle as a darkness shrouding their souls.
That reminds me, more than ever, how we are made to operate in God’s light.
During a dark time in Israel’s history, Nehemiah purposed to rebuild Jerusalem’s walls. Opposition to the task was so great that the people laboring with him “worked with one hand and held a weapon with the other. And each of the builders worked with his sword strapped at his side” (Nehemiah 4:17-18 BSB).
The Israelites trusted God with a practical faith while keeping at their task. They didn’t wait for God to build the walls for them. Similarly, we need to continue our work of writing at the practical intersection of secular and sacred. We do our part and ask God to shed His light on the parts we have no idea how to accomplish.
So how can we tackle, with renewed energy, this year’s writing? By remembering four things about Our Creator regarding light:
1) God limits darkness.
He did that on a macro level in Genesis 1:3-4. But He did the same on a micro level. Within natural light are threads of darkness, “which … appear as black points within the light [emphasis mine].” Light contains darkness, but the darkness can’t break free from the light. (A great, mostly non-technical physics article, “The Dark Side of Light,” explains this.)
What does that mean for you and me?
- “He existed before everything and holds everything together” (Colossians 1:17 GWT).
- “The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:5 BSB).
2) God sees what we can’t.
We can see only a sliver of light’s electromagnetic spectrum. If the full spectrum were as wide as the continental U.S. (about 2,500 miles), the visible portion we know as colors would be one inch of that length.
Most of what God does is invisible to us. But He’s still working on our behalf. John Piper says, “God is always doing 10,000 things in your life, and you may be aware of three of them.”
Despite how little we can perceive of God, we can believe Him for much more—because He is true to His nature. Paul put it this way: “Through everything God made, [people] can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature” (Romans 1:20 NLT).
3) No darkness is too dark for God.
Today’s measuring technologies reveal “there’s as much light outside of galaxies as there is inside of galaxies.” Astrophysicists don’t know why that much light exists but admit some unknown phenomenon may give the universe its own “glow” (November 2020 NPR article).
Psalm 139:11-12 (BSB) seems to answer that question: “If I say, ‘Surely the darkness will hide me’ … even the darkness is not dark to You, but the night shines like the day, for darkness is as light to You.”
Despite His ability to see the darkest corners of our soul, God has promised to never leave us (Joshua 1:9).
4) Darkness can’t derail God’s purposes.
Late in life, John wrote, “This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5 NIV). English loses a bit in translation, so let’s get Greek-y for a moment: God exists timelessly, without limits, as the Light. In Him there is, without exception, no darkness whatsoever.
“Exists timelessly without limits” is how God identified Himself to Moses as I AM. The same usage appears in Jesus’ “I am” statements. “No without exception” is Greek for “you categorically can’t offer any valid examples otherwise.” Case closed!
Thank God for His eternal perspective and immutable purposes! He sees the past, present, and future simultaneously, plus every possible outcome that can arise from each choice.
You’re staring at your computer screen, willing that blinking cursor to create something from nothing. What can you camp on to keep you going?
Do you doubt you can write? God—not your doubts—deserves the benefit of your doubts.
Are you weary of the discipline of writing, especially when it doesn’t seem to bear fruit? God disciplines us in ways that always bear fruit (Hebrews 12:10).
Do you feel directionless? Flying in the dark? Rely on God’s instruments (His Word)—not your feelings (Psalm 119:105).
Are you devoid of new ideas? No clue how to get your main character out of the dark corner you painted him into? Ask God to establish your steps (Proverbs 16:9).
Does life seem hollow, void of meaning? God spoke into the void and created light (Genesis 1:3-4). He will do the same in your life.
What a privilege we have in shining light on this dark world through our writing! We can do it with zeal and excellence, knowing that God sees far more in us than we see in ourselves.We need to continue our work of writing at the practical intersection of secular and sacred. @LanaCwrites #ACFWBlogs #writetip #ACFWCommunity Click To Tweet
Lana Christian has a dual writing career in medicine and ministry. She won numerous APEX awards for the former and ACFW awards for the latter. She regularly guest blogs and writes a weekly blog of encouragement on her author website. She’s seeking representation for her biblical and historical fiction series. Visit her at www.lanachristian.com or Twitter: @LanaCwrites.