The Darkness is Not Winning

by Marilyn on December 16, 2015

hole in the heart

“The darkness is not winning!”

These are words I read yesterday in a newsletter from my brother and sister-in-law. Stan and Tami live in Denver but spend at least half the year traveling throughout the world. And in their travels, they see things. They connect with people through the joys and challenges of a life overseas. They know that of which they speak, because they see God at work. 

They know that the darkness is not winning. So today I offer you the encouragement that they gave me through their newsletter:


“Not long ago a news article about black holes in space caught my attention. Black holes seem to get a lot of news and mostly, it seems, because of what they swallow up. Now I’m not a physicist, mathematician or any kind of scientist and so what I say is simply my imagination. They say that what goes into a black hole doesn’t come out, that even light cannot escape. But did you know that the same observations and mathematical models predict not only black holes but something similar only altogether different? They are called white holes. Now a white hole doesn’t swallow everything up like a black hole. Instead a white hole lets out light into the universe instead of swallowing it up.


What a wonderful metaphor for Christmas and what we celebrate! The Christmas account in the Gospel of John begins with the first 14 verses of the book…


1 In the beginning was the Word,  and the Word was with God,  and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning.  3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.  4 In him was life,  and that life was the light  of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness,  and the darkness has not overcome it…. 14 And the Word became flesh and lived among us.
The darkness is not winning. 

The truth is that wherever the news on television has been particularly bad this year, the Light is there shining and overcoming the Darkness. Refugees in the Middle East are being taken in by Christians, hatred is overcome by love. The hungry are being fed and the wounded healed in Jesus name. Discouraged and dislocated people are hearing about Jesus and receiving him and finding life and community and safety. Slaves in South East Asia are being set free from sex and labor imprisonment and the Light is even shining into the places where these slaves are working while they are still in slavery.”*

As I scan the news and read of grief, loss, and terror I think of the words from this newsletter, that wherever the news is particularly bad, the light is there shining and overcoming the darkness.

And I’m challenged yet again to live as one who knows that the darkness is not winning.

Where do you see the light shining and overcoming the darkness? 

*[source – Stan & Tami Brown IDEAS]

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About Marilyn

An adult third culture kid, Marilyn grew up in Pakistan and then raised her own 5 third culture kids in Pakistan and Egypt. She currently lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts 15 minutes from the international terminal. She works with underserved, minority communities as a public health nurse and flies to the Middle East & Pakistan as often as possible. She is the author of Between Worlds: Essays on Culture and Belonging and you can find her blogging at Communicating Across Boundaries.
  • bwsmith

    I saw the darkness dissipate when a friend and missionary to refugees wrote of a Pakistani refugee who can into their group and told of an American soldier who answered his question about what he believed. The soldier reached in his kit, pulled out a Bible and shared the Gospel. The Pakistani was dumfounded. He had been told all Americans are heathen. So when he came, as a tragically displaced person, to the folks running a place for refugees he wanted to hear more. Praise God for that soldier and all who equipped him — and for the missionaries serving overseas. May we in American be wise and willing servants, too!

  • Amen! It is not. I see it in the kindnesses of neighbors who shoveled for elderly folks in our neighborhood.

  • Sherri

    Thank you! I know HE is in control. But the darkness is so surrounding. My husband was hassled by the police yesterday who are only looking for bribes so they have more money for Christmas. The work goes on and on. Thank you for this encouragement.

  • Anna Wegner

    Thanks for sharing this encouragement that we need right now! I’m in the US right now, and have had a chance to see a church reaching out to serve their community this season. They take their mission as God’s body seriously. 🙂

  • Kathy Vaughan

    For over two years, I have prayed for a group of people that God put on my heart, the Ormas of Kenya, a tribe of Muslim cattle herders who have been very resistant to the gospel. After I shared with my Ugandan friend Mike about my prayers for the Ormas, he started paying for them, and then he met Pastor Moses at a pastor’s conference in Tanzania. Pastor Moses has worked for 5 years among the Ormas, and had a church of 15 people. In September, Mike traveled to Kenya to assist and encourage Pastor Moses in his work. Through door to door evangelism and the showing the Jesus film, hundreds have come to the Lord since September! There is a very strong discipleship emphasis, with new believers being trained in Biblical Foundations, and immediately accepting God’s call to go and make disciples. On December 20, a second Orma church, pastored by a trained Kenyan pastor, was launched, and on Christmas Day, the first day in their new church “shade” (tent with just a roof), 24 more people made the decision to follow Jesus. Over 100 Bibles and 200 discipleship books have been distributed, and today they are purchasing about 100 more discipleship books, which still won’t be enough. Yes, praise God, the darkness is not winning! I know this story is being repeated around the world, and we so often don’t see it, but we can rejoice that the light is overcoming!

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