Sister, do not focus on the darkness of this world, but instead keep looking at the horizon for the Bright and Morning star. (Revelation 22:16). During the long dark night, the appearance of the morning star means daybreak is imminent. In the old proverb, the darkest hour is the lowest ebb of the nightly cycle.
There is a fine line between watching the times and focusing on the times (or worse, dwelling on the times.) I understand this as a Christian who has been given discernment as a precious gift from the Spirit, a gift for which I am eternally grateful. In Dr Barhnouse’s sermon this morning (listened to on Expositor.FM) he had urged us to focus on the horizon. This made me think of the time I spent living on a sailboat.
I am witness to the darkness before the dawn myself. I lived on a sailboat with my husband for two years, making sea journeys overnight offshore through day and night and a day and a night. Standing watch through the night, being out in the weather, alone on the sea, makes one desperately appreciate the light. The 3:00am watch is dark, cold, and seemingly endless. When one glimpses the first glimmer of a change from blackest coal sky to indigo then blue then the pink and golds of sunrise, the heart lifts and one feels that one has emerged from an endless tunnel in which one’s very soul had been swallowed.
|First cup of coffee after dawn watch’s first light|
I always become seasick on the boat whenever I was down below, and usually became seasick when in the cockpit, unless I was looking at the horizon. The smallest rolling yaw, the minutest pitching swell would set my stomach to churning. The only solution was to keep my eyes on the steady horizon. Staring at the waves was a sure way to become ill. This is because, according to LiveScience,
Although it might seem that looking at something steady would make the ship’s movement all the more noticeable, it helped to focus on a distant, steady point on the horizon while at sea, the researchers found. … Stoffregen suspects that the horizon provides a helpful point of reference, allowing people to sense the difference between their body’s natural motion and the motion of the ship.
Gazing at the horizon steadies the gaze and helps the seasick-afflicted maintain equilibrium. Continual staring at the wicked world, and the wicked are like the sea which cannot rest, (Isaiah 57:20) will only serve to disrupt your equilibrium.
We discernment bloggers watch the events of the world as did the men of Issachar, understanding the times and knowing what to do (1 Chronicles 12:32), which is to urge all men to repent and be salt and light as Gospel sharers in the dark world. Our job is to be about the Light, not the dark. Watching the tumultuous sea for too long will darken the gaze and upset the stomach, metaphorically, if not actually! Watching the horizon for the Light of Christ who will appear is the antidote for the churning stomach of the times.
During the night watch (or any watch) we’d continually scan the horizon to stay on course, to watch for obstacles that would sink us, and to look for land. Land was home, safe harbor, and rest. If you watch for Jesus, keep looking to Him, and stay on His course, you will not be upset by the world’s events nor will your eyes stay in the dark but see the Light continually. Since it is SO dark before the dawn, therefore when the Bright Glory of Jesus appears to rapture us home, His Light will be magnified and heightened in brightness untold!!
Praise the Lord that the darkness has not overcome the Light (John 1:5). Praise the Lord that He is the Light.
|Jesus is the Light and the darkness has not overcome it.
No matter how tumultuous the sea, the Light is always there, shining steadily.