Light Up the Dark

We don’t have cable in our home, and PBS is the only channel we get that has any type of children’s programming. Of the options available, the one show my kids regularly see begins just in time for me to get dinner ready. The only negative is that it is the last kids’ show of the day and serves as the entrance to the BBC Newshour. Yesterday, on Tuesday of this Holy Week, as quickly as I ran, I didn’t get to the television in time to turn it off before the news began. In less than ten seconds, images displaying the terrible truth of the world we are living in flashed before their eyes. My curious preschooler had questions that deserved a reply. As he asked about what happened to “all those people,” I prayed God would give me clear wisdom with my words.

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” ~John 3:16

I don’t water down Scripture for my kids. They know that Jesus gave His life in the most painful way imaginable because of love. They know He was beaten, bled, and died while innocent and blameless. So when my little boy has questions about this world and the immense sorrow and hatred that cuts through, all I can do is remind him that, no matter what goes on around us, there is one unchanging truth: God is love, and He is the only One who changes lives now and forever. And we need to tell everyone—”all those people”—they are loved.

“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” ~Matthew 28:19

Light came and pierced through darkness. Light came and tore the veil. Light calls us to be light. We aren’t to be passive participants in the Gospel. We are to go, take up the cross, and follow Him. This is not for the faint of heart. This is for the heart captivated, consumed, and consecrated to the Lord. We mourn the death of our Savior. Our flesh cries out in sorrow and in gratitude for the undeserved forgiveness and grace given to us, and our flesh continues to cry out for His return. While we wait and feel the undeniable, ever-increasing birth pangs, we celebrate that the battle has already been won. Victory is ours, and we are not to live in fear. We teach our children that fear is not from God, and that even in the midst of chaos and uncertainty, there is still great beauty. God rescued us from the grave, and we get to share in rescuing others.

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men.” ~Matthew 5:14-16

In the face of rubble, blood, and destruction on the news are also images showing men and women stepping up and helping others. No matter how much evil was intended, heroes weren’t driven away in fear. Heroes stepped in to bring peace in the storm and rescue the wounded. We can be heroes, too—because we know the real Hero, and He tells us to be content “with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:10). The Word of God is living and active, and while we are watching our children grow up in a tumultuous world, we know, pray, and teach them constantly that God is our ever present help in times of trouble and in Him, we are secure. This world is not our home. Remind yourselves and remind your children. We should all go and be light to a world desperately needing to see that they are loved, and God’s love never fails.

For His Glory,

unnamed-1-169x300 Gabbie Nolen-Fratantoni loves Jesus and is passionate about serving him through the arts by leading worship and writing for various ministries. She is married to Greg, her hard-working, iron-sharpening-iron spouse. They are opposite in personality but equal in dedication to their marriage and family. Gabbie and Greg are the proud and sleep-deprived parents of two active, sweet, and fun boys and are eagerly anticipating the arrival of their first daughter in March 2016. An Aggie and graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary, Gabbie is a small-town country girl trapped in the city and loves getting to know people and encouraging them as they seek to know Jesus and make him known.

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