“The sun will no more be your light by day,
nor will the brightness of the moon shine on you,
for the Lord will be your everlasting light,
and your God will be your glory.
Your sun will never set again,
and your moon will wane no more;
the Lord will be your everlasting light,
and your days of sorrow will end.”
When I first read this, I was rather upset. I couldn’t get past the first two lines, specifically this phrase: “nor will the brightness of the moon shine upon you”. I recoiled at that.
But I’m glad, because if I hadn’t been mad about it, I wouldn’t have stopped to dig into these two verses.
See, it is hard to convey how serious I am about this, but I really, really, really love the moon. I have for a long time. I get giddy over moon-shadows and have friends take the steering wheel so I can good look at a good moon (don’t worry, Mom, I’ve started pulling over to look instead). Part of it is that I truly believe that there are times when the moon is for me, like a gift or a song would be. Jesus has given me the moon over and over, and it has become a token of His love to me.
I can look back on very specific moments in my life when the gift of a moon was almost startling in the perfection of its timing. In moments when I have felt discouraged and alone, I would happen to glance out the window – and there to greet me is a bright, serene moon. In times of sweet, sweet laughter and joy: moon. Nights that I feel a second darkness: moon. Heavy nights, blissful nights, normal nights… moon, moon, moon. Each of them exquisitely beautiful and quietly presented to my heart. There have been times I have even wept over my moon-gifts, because each time that I am given one, I am reminded that I am not alone, I am not abandoned, and I am loved ferociously by the only one who is able to give me a moon. No friend, no lover on earth could ever give me a moon… only Jesus. And the one who is able to orchestrate the universe to give me such a gift chooses to as well.
He is intensely personal in how he loves us.
The moon is rich with meaning, even though it has nothing to boast about on its own. A plain hunk of rock, with no light of its own and no power of its own, the moon simply accepts its place in orbit. And when the moon is positioned so, the sun’s light is reflected into a dark world, ricocheting to earth off the moon’s willing face.
In the same way, I have nothing to offer, nothing to give, no radiance of my own. But my life, when I allow it to be directed by the Author of the story, can be positioned just so in order to reflect the Son’s love and glory into a dark world. Not by any strength or might of my own, but by His. Not by my effort, but by His completed work in me. I simply rest in the orbit, the will of my Father, and discover His goodness in using me despite my imperfections.
And not only am I then useful to my Creator, which is the joy of any created thing, but I get the supreme privilege and joy of having His face shine upon me. The reflection others may happen to see is only a by-product of my own experience of Jesus; first and foremost, I have the opportunity to bask in His light, His love and glory, and like Moses coming down from the mountain, the experience does not leave me unchanged.
“the stars outshine the moon and the moon points to the sun” – Beta Radio, “Brother, Sister”
I don’t remember the first time this metaphor was made clear to me, but I have loved it nearly as long as I have loved the moon. It gets richer the more I understand my helplessness and His goodness. This is why, if I get a tattoo, you can safely wager it will probably be something about the moon.
I love the moon, I love the meaning behind the moon, I love the way Jesus loves me with the moon.
So that was why, reading the words, “nor will the brightness of the moon shine on you” was less than exciting for me. I don’t want to lose the moon, my token of love, my reminder of grace.
But then, I realized that even sans moon, there is something much, much greater in store.
“Your moon will wane no more;
the Lord will be your everlasting light”
See, the moon is not available to me all the time. There are nights when clouds block my view, or times and days of the month that the moon is not seen in the sky at all. It is merely an occasional joy, and when present, lasts only till morn.
But how sweet will be the day when Christ Himself will be my never-waning moon, my constant and uninterrupted joy! Now, I have reminders of his love in the moon. Then, I will have the Lover Himself. Now, trials and lies and my own selfish pride can act like clouds and trees, tempting me to forget that he is with me, always. Then, all those things will be wiped out, and sin will have no way of ruining my sight. Now, “we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face” (1 Cor 13:12).
He will be my everlasting light, never interrupted, never hidden.
So while I don’t know exactly what God has planned for the new heaven and new earth, I can safely trust whatever His plan is. Even if there isn’t a moon, I will be more than satisfied. I will find that all gifts pale in comparison to the Giver.
Do you have a moon? A love-token from God? Maybe yours is silent, like a moon, and He is just waiting for you to notice.
For, after all, we are all being wooed. Wooed into a romance that changes us without any effort of our own, a purpose that never dies, a love that always triumphs, and a future that bursts with hope, regardless of our past or present.
…“and your days of sorrow will end”.