“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:5 (NIV)
I spent most of my childhood doing my homework in the dark under a burning gas lamp. As war erupted in my Middle Eastern country, we had electricity only eight hours a day, and then it was dark.
Not only was my country physically dark, it was also spiritually dark. My family experienced the effects of this darkness, as we were the only Christians in our village. When we shared the gospel with our neighbors, we received heavy persecution and death threats urging us to stop, or my father would be killed. I experienced darkness at my school as well, where I was bullied for my faith. Often, my heart sank deep within me as I felt the rejection from those around me.
Persecution was affecting my family from the outside, but from the inside, poverty was taking over.
We often lacked food and sometimes only had raw onion and bread for dinner. We lived in a small apartment with no furniture, couches or beds. I desired to have new clothes, dolls and toys, but we could not afford them, and I didn’t receive gifts on Christmas or my birthday.
Yet, my parents continuously encouraged me to be content and to keep my eyes on Jesus. Mom recited Psalm 23 to me every night before going to bed, and she taught me to pray and bring all my needs to God.
During this season of darkness, Christian resources were limited. Aside from finding other Christians to meet, a Christian radio station broadcasted two hours a day. My family desired to have access to the station, but we could not afford a radio. Being a family of prayer, we brought this need to God.
Then God pierced through our darkness.
Amid the war, poverty and persecution, I was given the gift of a beautifully wrapped shoebox packed by someone halfway across the world who wanted to show me God’s love.
My family gathered to open the shoebox. As I opened it, my heart was filled with joy! I found many things that were an answer to my prayers and reflected my innermost self so well. There were hygiene items, school supplies and many beautiful toys such as a slinky and a Beanie Baby.
As we rejoiced over each item inside the box, there was another surprise awaiting us. Inside the shoebox was a smaller box, and inside that box we found a mini radio!
Out of millions of boxes, God orchestrated that box to come specifically to my family with what we needed and had prayed for. That day, as I sat in our room holding my box, the darkness did not go away, but it was overcome by God’s light. Just as the Bible says in John 1:5, “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”
From that day forward, every time I turned on the radio, I was reminded that God is the God of details. In a unique yet ordinary way, He pierced through the surrounding darkness and showed me that I am seen and loved by Him, even when rejected by many.
There are times when darkness seems too overwhelming and blinds us from seeing God’s presence in our lives. The enemy uses many forms of attack to blur or even blind our vision of the One True Light.
But God is not deterred by the darkness around us.
Continue to seek God even when everything is dark. God is actively working behind the scenes. He is still the God of love, the God of peace and the God of answered prayers.
Heavenly Father, sometimes I am too overwhelmed by my situations and don’t see or feel You. Would You pull me into Your light and allow me to see You shine through my darkness? Help me trust what You’re doing in my life even when I do not know all the details. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY
John 8:12, “When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’” (NIV)
To hear more encouraging stories like Dania’s, visit Samaritan’s Purse or follow Operation Christmas Child on Facebook.
Today, Dania serves as a National Spokesperson with Operation Christmas Child, and she loves hearing many stories of God changing lives all around the world, as well as sharing her own story of God’s faithfulness throughout her life.
REFLECT AND RESPOND
What kind of darkness is around you right now? Would you ask God to show you His light in the midst of what you’re going through? He knows every little detail of your life, and no darkness can ever overcome His love. Share your prayers of hope with us in the comments today!
© 2020 by Dania Yadago. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries thanks Operation Christmas Child for their support of She Speaks Conference and Encouragement for Today devotions.
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