Advent devotion: Pitch black

News | December 11, 2017

A few weeks ago, I saw a picture that said “Despair: It’s always darkest just before it goes pitch black.”

While I got a good chuckle out of this picture, it highlights a major part of human nature, which is to focus on the pessimistic side of any situation.

I recently interviewed for a job I was confident I was going to get, only to be rejected due to “lack of experience.” I was devastated. For a couple days I reconsidered if I was actually cut out for my career. Yet when I reevaluated the situation, I realized that instead of wallowing in self-pity, I should use this as a learning experience. While I should be proud of my current accomplishments, I should continue to look for new experiences in order to better myself in my career.

We’ve all had setbacks. It can be so easy to be blind to the presence of Christ’s light in our lives and be consumed by the darkness of despair. However, if we choose to look, we can always find something that leads us to Christ’s presence in our lives.

The recent outbreak of mass shootings and general gun violence is another example. We can choose to become paralyzed by sorrow and anguish. Or, we can advocate for increased funding for research into gun violence that could prevent future shootings.

When we seek out God’s blessings in the face of misfortune, we act as a beacon for Christ’s light to pierce through the darkness. If we truly believe that God sent his only son Jesus to die for our sins and give us eternal life, we can always find that shimmer of hope in the face of despair that encourages us to carry on.

Aaron Russell lives in Davenport with his wife, Samantha. They enjoy riding bikes, walking, and cooking.

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