Ever find yourself longing for a perfect world?
Sometimes I look at certain paintings and think, “Mm, that looks so idyllic, so desirable.” (Think Thomas Kinkade.)
Or occasionally a photograph will stop me in my tracks—because the scene it captures seems so cozy, so warm, so peaceful.
Or maybe you, like me, occasionally reminisce about days gone by: those seemingly carefree, golden days of childhood. My parents did a brilliant job of raising my sisters and me in a warm, loving environment, and sometimes I wish I could go back and experience those days again. How sweet it would be to relive them!
We often yearn for better times,
for better scenery,
for better experiences.
I’ve read that one thing humans can do that animals cannot is imagine. We imagine what a perfect world would look like. We recall and imagine those innocent days of childhood. We imagine a life free of anxiety and pain.
But sooner or later, reality confronts us. We realize all is not well. We realize perfection remains frustratingly elusive.
In fact, writers on this blog have shared their own stories, their own painful encounters with the sin and brokenness of this world.
- Becky’s account of what happened on the corner of Lawrence and Winthrop.
- My own questions and doubts.
- Sheba’s firsthand encounters with cancer and death.
- Merin’s heartbreaking account of sexual abuse.
The point is, you don’t have to look very far before the world’s attractive veneer begins to crack. The nice, simplified worldview we grow up with soon gives way to a harsher, more complex reality. So it’s natural to feel disappointed. To long for something more. To wish this life weren’t so full of heartache and regrets.
Thumbing through the Bible, you’ll notice a recurring light/darkness motif—beginning in Genesis and continuing throughout the New Testament:
The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. | Genesis 1:2
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. | John 1:5
The light is among you for a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you. | John 12:35
For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. | 2 Corinthians 4:6
We do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. | Ephesians 6:12
The darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining. | 1 John 2:8
Essentially, the Bible writers acknowledged that the world is dark now, but they also knew that God’s light was shining.
Then it all culminates in Revelation:
The city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb. | Revelation 21:23
What a hopeful prophecy!
Light will ultimately triumph.
Darkness will die.
But, in the meantime, here we are.
It’s dark in this world, but not pitch-black.
And the beautiful light of Christ continues to shine brightly.
So next time you find yourself dreamily thinking of a perfect world or fondly reminiscing on days gone by or feeling alarmed by the sin and brokenness around you, remember that, in the midst of the darkness…