The rough wooden boardwalk is cool beneath my feet as I make my way to the sand. The sky is still the thick, deep blue of night, and gray shadows sway in the salty wind. I sleepily take my husband’s hand. I’m not a morning person, but we’re on vacation and I’m determined to see the sun climb like a rising warrior above the waves at least once.
As we get closer to the shore, we can see more people who have decided to forsake pillows for flip-flops along with us. They sit on huge pieces of stranded driftwood, stroll along the edge of the water with cameras in hand, or sip from coffee cups with dazed looks on their faces. I notice one woman lifting her eyes to the still-night sky, and I am curious. What does she see?
When I follow her example, I am greeted by diamonds thrown out on velvet. One star in particular winks brilliantly back at me. I find out later it’s actually the planet Venus, otherwise known as the Morning Star. Here is its mystery and beauty: Venus is known for rising in the darkest part of the night, just before dawn. Jesus said, “I am the . . . bright Morning Star” (Revelation 22:16). This means, among other things, He is not afraid of the deepest dark.
He is not frightened by the secret places in our hearts. The ones that haven’t seen daylight for years. The kind with the locks on the doors. The sort we don’t say out loud or even fully admit to ourselves. He is not running scared from the tragedies in our lives. He is not backing away from the brokenness and the bitterness and the shattered dreams. He is not intimidated by the monsters under our beds or inside our minds. He is not avoiding the struggles or the addictions. He is not waving His hands in surrender to the enemies of our souls. He is not saying, “This is too much for me.”
Jesus is not afraid to step right into the night, not afraid to even dwell in the middle of it, because He is light. And in Him, there is not darkness at all.
This means darkness can surround Him, and He cannot be defeated or diminished by it. He came as a baby into a midnight world and announced His arrival with a shining star. He conquered death in a dark tomb and rolled the stone away, making a way into the brightness for all of us. In the thickest gloom, the Morning Star rose.
In our story of humanity, it feels like we are in a Morning Star moment right now, the darkest part of the night, just before dawn. We have come through a time of fear and isolation, division and destruction, mourning and waiting, hoping, praying. So we need to know that when Jesus said, “I am the bright Morning Star,” it means He is here with us in times like this one. He is the hope we can cling to, the light that has come and is coming, the One who will usher in a new day.
“His mercies never end. They are new every morning” (Lamentations 3:22–23). As I watch the sun slip into the morning sky and fill it with gold and flame, I bear witness that these words are true. Venus, the Morning Star that foreshadowed all this light and blazing glory, seems to be more than just a planet; it suddenly also seems to be a promise — a daily reminder from the heart of our Creator that even the deepest night will lead to dawn. The dark cannot win; the light will never be overcome.