Listen to today’s devo!

The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned. (Isa. 9:2)

My exiled friend, Hanna, returned home regularly to serve his people. Amid raging conflict and deep poverty, in one of the darkest places on earth, Hanna stood with the vulnerable and poor, feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, caring for orphans, proclaiming the gospel, and training pastors. He carried this cross with grace and without complaint.

In the crossfire, Hanna’s church had suffered arson, bombings, and shootings. Extremists kidnapped a friend and coworker, and executed him, simply because of his bold Christian testimony. He left behind two precious children and a pregnant, grieving wife.

Yet, there was not a hint of bitterness in this godly pastor. His tender spirit reminded me of Jesus. When approaching Jerusalem, Jesus wept and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes” (Luke 19:42). The warring factions did not see it, but my friend offered the elusive key to ending conflict: Christ’s peace.

The Nativity brought poor Jewish shepherds and rich pagan wise men together in one humble place. My friend, Hanna, brought unlikely people to Jesus as he shone light to one of the darkest places on earth.

Rather than cursing the darkness, light a candle.

Mark O. Wilson is assistant professor of discipleship, multiplication, and renewal at Southern Wesleyan University (SC) and author of Filled Up, Poured Out.

© 2022 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.