Have you ever pondered what is happening in the world while it is still very dark? I have. The reason is because I read in Mark 1:35, Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. I found it interesting that Jesus wanted us to know that very early in the morning meant before the light was out, while it was still very dark. It’s as if He told us this information so that we would know the exact time of day He enjoyed praying and might try it for ourselves.
On a recent retreat I got up while it was still dark to go to a solitary place to pray. I soon discovered why Jesus enjoyed this sacred time of day to pray. The first thing I noticed about praying while it is still very dark is that this is a time when the moon and stars shine brightest. If I had gone out to pray thirty minutes later, I wouldn’t have seen the beauty of the light they contribute. They are always there in the universe shining for God’s glory, but you can only see them and see them at their brightest while it is still very dark.
I thought I had figured it out. I had discovered why Jesus enjoyed special prayer very early in the morning while it is still very dark, but I was wrong, there was so much more. This particular retreat center had an outdoor Stations of the Cross display. I’m not sure if I even noticed it as I drove in, but here in the darkness I couldn’t miss its beauty. You see, it was created from stained glass and lights illuminated the artistry. While it was still very dark was the time that I could truly enjoy these pictures of Christ’s journey to the cross. I was amazed at this discovery and blessed that Jesus had invited me right to this place to enjoy it while it was still very dark.
The retreat center was located on a lake. I grew up on a lake and saw my first sunrise over the water. I could sense that the sun was just about to rise and I headed for the dock to watch the sunrise. It is only if you get up to pray while it is still very dark that you are able to enjoy this sacred moment of each day. It is the moment when God brings His light into the world. He reveals the beauty of His being through the vast array of colors the light illuminates. More spectacular than any stained glass created by man, God delivers a sacred display of His glory. Even the fish were jumping in jubilation. The birds were singing, all nature was delighting in the breaking of a new day. I would have totally missed it if I had not gone out to pray while it was still very dark.
Darkness is the canvas by which God can further display His light. I encourage you to get up very early one morning and go out while it is still very dark to a solitary place to pray. I know that God will illuminate your life in a special way if you do.