I was racing around trying to finish the hedge clipping, lawn mowing, weed eating, and cleanup. I had started too late and had too much to do. The sky was turning gold, purple, and orange. In the distance, I could hear the staccato pow of dove hunters getting in their last shots before the end of the day. Over the ridge across town, I could hear the band getting ready for the football game that was soon to begin. All of us were waiting for darkness to fall.
Nightfall! Jesus knew its reality. He warned his disciples: As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. (John 9:4) As time grew closer, Jesus warned more strongly: You are going to have the light just a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, before darkness overtakes you. The man who walks in the dark does not know where he is going. Put your trust in the light while you have it, so that you may become sons of light. (John 12:35) Darkness did fall: at his Last Supper with the disciples, John tells us, As soon as Judas had taken the bread, he went out. And it was night. (John 13:30) More than nightfall, this was darkfall!
As Christians, we know darkness did not win this encounter. As horrific as the Cross was, Jesus knew the Prince of Darkness would be defeated through it: Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out. But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself. (John 12:31-32) Jesus took the worst blow Satan could deliver. He then turned this disaster into our deliverance.
As the horrible events in last Wednesdays brutal murders in a Ft. Worth church remind us, darkfall still visits our world. Its intent for believers is always malevolent it seeks to harm, wound, separate, and kill. Death, and the one who uses it as his evil tool, still has a foothold on our world. It is still the great enemy. (1 Corinthians 15:24-26) It is still darkfall!
But darkfall does not have the final word. It has a powerful word. It has a malicious word. It has a grievous word. But not the final word.
Darkfall does not have the final word.
As believers, we know it is the time of warfare. Our time of rest hasnt come. Salvation has dawned, but not in its full radiance. So we live each day filled with the excitement that what we doand how we do ittruly matters. We know that the evil one may bring darkfall across our path. But no matter what happens, we choose to live life to its fullest. We know that whatever happens in our lives will bring our ultimate deliverance. (Philippians 1:19-20) We are children of light, we wont be surprised or destroyed by darkfall. (1 Thessalonians 5:4-9)
Even though we may face troubles, we keep faith and hold on to our hope. Why? Why hold on to hope after senseless tragedies where clearly believers have been executed by crazed gunmen in mass murders in our schools, our churches, and in foreign lands? Because we know the One who has overcome the world. (John 16:33) He has taken the stinger out of the deadly scorpions hands (1 Corinthians 15:51-57) and insured that the worst darkfall can do is temporarily separate us from those we love and send them straight to the Saviors presence. (Philippians 1:21-24; 2 Corinthians 5:5-9)
Darkfall is not the last word! Does that make our life here easy? No! But it does make sure that our life, no matter how short or long, matters eternally and that darkness can never claim what is already connected to the Light of life.