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Most weekday mornings Anna and I go for a walk. We leave in the dark of night and get home around first light. The stars shine brightly as we turn and make our way into Pennant Hills Park. Familiar scenes are now indistinct and shrouded in mystery – “What was that noise?” “I’m sure this path is clear, but …?” “There are potholes ahead, I’ll be careful – no I’ll turn my phone light on”.

But all is not murky and indistinct. There’s a scribbly gum behind the tennis courts that you barely notice during daylight. One small light in the carpark makes it shine with radiant irregularity. The other day I happened upon a large tree silhouetted against the coming dawn. Where were its leaves? It’s dead or dying. Why hadn’t I noticed it before? And then, right at the edge of the netball courts is a massive tree stump – white and tall and lumpy. Who put that there?

It’s a paradox, but the darkness, whilst clouding my vision of most things, actually makes other objects that had previously been overwhelmed by the light stand out.

Sometimes our lives are shrouded in darkness. We’re lost and confused, stumbling around in the dark night of the soul. We can’t see the way ahead. We can’t see anything clearly!

Not so quick. Yes, it’s dark and the way ahead is unclear, but God, who makes light shine in the darkness (2 Cor 4:6), may well have lessons to teach and things to show us that we could never appreciate in the full light of day. Open your eyes and look to his light.