The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone. (Isaiah 9:2 ESV)

If you’ve ever waited through a sleepless night, you know the welcome joy of dawn. If you’ve ever watched your child suffer through pain that intensified in the night, the light of day seemed to provide instant healing. If you’ve ever stumbled through the darkness of the valley of the shadow of death, you know the heaviness of dark grief. Darkness makes good things seem less than good. Darkness makes hard things seem impossible.

Israel staggered through the darkness of their own sin. They turned to their own devices and came up short–way short. Assyria devastated the north. Babylon would eventually destroy Jerusalem, ransack the temple, and carry the best and brightest of Jerusalem’s young people into exile.

However God had not forgotten them. He never forgets his own. He pledges his undying love in Isaiah 49:

“Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you. Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me. (Isaiah 49:15-16 ESV)

Jesus is living proof of God’s unwavering love for his people. Into the land of darkness, the light of life came shining. Into the gloom of sin and rebellion, grace and truth appeared. He pitched his tent among us, became a baby, grew up to be a man, lived among the commoners, died a criminal’s death, and lay in a borrowed tomb. Then he resurrected!

This Christmas, be reminded that God has not forgotten you. He is the Oriens, the Dayspring, the Great Light.

I promise you, that if you come to the light, joy will replace fear, light will dispel darkness, hope will displace hopelessness. God may not change your circumstances, but He will change you!