In moments of despair and desperation words of hope can make the difference between life and death. Recognising this simple truth led teenager Paige Hunter to attach messages of hope to Wearmouth Bridge in Sunderland – a place where tragically some of those in the deepest despair end their lives. Amongst the messages she left were, ‘You are not alone’ and ‘Even though things are difficult, your life matters; you’re a shining light in a dark world, so just hold on.’ Her simple messages are believed to have saved the lives of at least 6 people.
The Bible records the story of the prophet Elijah who after a great victory suddenly found himself running for his life. He cried out to God in despair, ‘I’ve had enough, take my life.’ But like Paige Hunter, God was ready with simple words of comfort that gave Elijah fresh hope and pointed him to future that was worth living for. In effect God said, ‘You’re a shining light in a dark world, so just hold on.’
And it was this same God who in the person of Jesus chose to shine the brightest light the world has ever known, prompting the Apostle John to write of him, ‘The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome.’