In 2018, twelve Thai boys and their soccer coach descended into a mazelike cave, intending to enjoy an afternoon adventure.
Due to unexpected rising water that forced them deeper and deeper into the cavern, it was two-and-a-half weeks before rescuers led them out. Dive teams, thwarted by rising water, attempted the rescue as the boys sat on a small rock shelf with only six flickering flashlights. They spent hours in darkness, hoping that somehow light—and help—would break through.
The prophet Isaiah described a world of brooding darkness, one overrun by violence and greed, shattered by rebellion and anguish (Isaiah 8:22). Nothing but ruin; hope’s candle flickering and fading, sputtering before succumbing to dark nothingness. And yet, Isaiah insisted, this dim despair was not the end. Because of God’s mercy, soon “there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress” (9:1). God would never abandon His people in shadowy ruin. The prophet announced hope for his people then and pointed to the time when Jesus would come to dispel the darkness sin has caused.
Jesus has come. And now we hear Isaiah’s words with renewed meaning: “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light,” Isaiah says. “On those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned” (v. 2).
No matter how dark the night, no matter how despairing our circumstances, we’re never forsaken in the dark. Jesus is here. A great Light shines.