Sitting in the Dark
Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the Lord shall be a light unto me.
~ Micah 7:8
When we think of saints, we think of perfect holiness, the people who somehow have actually given up everything to follow Christ in perfect obedience. But let us say, temporarily, that saints refers to two related groups of people. There are the former, the people who are famous for their piety; the Catholic and Orthodox churches recognize them officially, and most Protestant denominations do not generally begrudge great figures the title “Saint” Such-and-so. You might hear “Saint Paul” in a Baptist Sunday school.
But there is a broader use of the word, which is the communion of all those who have confessed and been baptized in their faith in Christ, and who follow Him; as Peter teaches, “[Y]ou are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” (1 Peter 2:9) The word “saints” is used throughout the New Testament to refer to . . . us! Even the Old Testament uses the word to describe believers and followers of God: “Praise ye the Lord. Sing unto the Lord a new song, and his praise in the congregation of saints.” (Psalm 149)
And if you think about it long enough, you will realize that it is all a matter of degree. Was Paul a sinner? He certainly seemed to think so. “For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) What, then, might we say constitutes a saint? Well, one thing, and the thing I want to emphasize, is that saints are just sinners who, when they fall down, get back up.
The thing that separates out someone who will never fall away, whose faith is genuine, is that it survives a test. If we sit in darkness, God is still our light. When life's greatest trials comes upon us, we don't simply give up. No matter how bad things seem, once you know God, there is always going to be a ray of light in the darkness to bring you home to Him.
Father God, let me never fail to see your light, even on the darkest night. Amen.
~ Mason Barge
Editor, Daily Prayer