“Even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you.” - Psalm 139:12
When God created the world, darkness is all there was. Genesis 1:2 tells us that the earth was without form, and God’s Spirit hovered over the waters. The psalmist shouldn’t surprise us then, when he says that the night is as bright as day to the God who created light in this world, who brought the sun and the moon and the stars into being. God was there first. Before there was light or life or meaning or hope or humanity, God was there. God took what sounds like the very definition of human hopelessness - a void, empty, water-filled, dark world - and transformed it into a vibrant, light-filled, hopeful home for the people he chose to make in his image.
We often hear, as Christians, that God can redeem and transform anyone at any time. God never looks at someone and says, “That’s too hard, there’s too much darkness and depravity, there’s nothing beautiful, so I can’t use this person.” God never says that because it’s contrary to the Gospel: Jesus came to save the least, the lost, and the sinner. Jesus came to redeem the irredeemable and make beautiful the ugly heart of the sinner. And the story of creation is a proclamation of the Gospel. Jesus looked into the void and created a land full of colorful flowers and majestic mountains. He spoke to the water and brought creatures to life. He looked at the darkness and overcame it with a command for light.
Even the darkness is not dark to God. He can see just as clearly in the night as he can when it’s light out. This verse is a reminder that the God we worship is so much bigger and more powerful than any force that comes along. He is not limited by the same things that limit us. Nothing is too powerful for the God who harnesses the ocean and causes the planets to turn. Our God looks into the darkness of our hearts and our world, and he brings light. He doesn’t need us to be beautiful or good or even halfway decent before choosing relationship with us. He is the God of redemption and salvation; he’s in the business of bringing light where darkness reigns and hope where there is a void.
Is there a situation in your life that feels hopeless? Maybe there’s someone you know and love that you long for God to transform, or maybe there’s something going on in our world that is deeply discouraging to you and looks like overwhelming darkness. Whatever the case, take some time to write out today’s verse, or make a list of things that remind you of God’s powerful redemption, and place it somewhere you’ll see it every day.