Christian Living

Spiritual Life

From Utter Darkness Into Brilliant Light

hand and sunrise
Author Biography

    Paul's a Regent University professor who has authored three books and written widely on Church history and theology. He's also a worship leader, husband, and father of three who enjoys spending time with his family.

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Dr. Paul J. Palma - Professor, Regent University Biblical Studies & Christian Ministries

On April 8, 2024, observers across the United States, Mexico, and Canada beheld the wonder of a total solar eclipse. This cosmic spectacle charms North America’s skies once every three years. A partial eclipse is remarkable, but in a total eclipse, the moon obscures the sun in its entirety, casting a broad shadow across the continent. Still, the event’s most splendid moment is realized only as the moon leaves the sun’s crosshairs, revealing the solar system’s breath-taking source of light and heat in all its grandeur.

The first pages of the Bible say that in the beginning, the earth was formless and void, and darkness covered the deep waters. But God spoke into the darkness: “Let there be light,” and there was light. (Genesis 1:3 NLT) He proceeded to bring order, harmony, and form to the world. Arraying the earth in splendour, God arrived at the apex and wondrous centerpiece of creation, fashioning humanity from the dust. He brought forth Adam and, from his rib, Eve. Only to God’s prized token and favorite possession did He impart His divine likeness, the “image of God” (1:26-27). In the garden, man and woman radiated the glory of their Creator.

In Adam and Eve’s pride, they mistook something that looked good, but God forbade (the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil). In Luke, Jesus warned His followers similarly not to mistake something that appears good for something that might not be good:

“Make sure that the light you think you have is not actually darkness. If you are filled with light, with no dark corners, then your whole life will be radiant, as though a floodlight were filling you with light.” (Luke 11:35-36)

We are misled by pride when we confuse the true light for something our false expectations lead us to think might be light. Only God’s radiant fullness floods out the darkness within. As the moon’s eclipse of the sun is temporary, lasting but a few minutes, so our guilt, grief, anger, pain, and brokenness will one day subside. In time, as the shadow cast by the moon fades, the sun will emerge into full view.
One day, we will behold the Son of God in all His brilliance, and, in that moment, we will finally be like Him, enveloped in the totality of His presence. As John, the beloved disciple, admonished: 

Dear friends, we are already God’s children, but he has not yet shown us what we will be like when Christ appears. But we do know that we will be like him, for we will see him as he really is. (1 John 3:2)

The darkness will one day lift, as we, bearing the very likeness of the Son, are fully restored. Christ, the one around whom our lives orbit and our vital source of sustenance and warmth—the true light of the world (John 8:12)—will usher us into the unending glory of His presence.

Lord, fill us once again with the true Light of Your presence. Let the fullness of Your joy radiate in our hearts, consuming the surrounding darkness that we may reflect Your unremitting light to a world in need.


Scripture is quoted from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved. 

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