"Darkness Rises and Light to Meet It" — Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Say what you will about The Last Jedi (I for one really loved TLJ!), I think we can all say it gave us some pretty awesome quotes. Also quick heads up...mini spoiler for The Rise of Skywalker below, so stop reading if you don't want to be spoiled!
This particular quote is my favorite. In the film, Snoke continues, "I warned my young apprentice that as he grew stronger, his equal in the light would rise." We know based on the film that Kylo Ren is the darkness, carrying forward the legacy that his grandfather Darth Vader began with Palpatine. And the light is Rey—the last remaining Jedi after Luke, on whose shoulders the fate of the galaxy falls.
In our world, the balance of good and evil, darkness and light, cannot and simply does not rest within two individuals such as Kylo and Rey. The balance instead is sin versus God, death versus Jesus. Powers mightier than anything we can imagine, but sometimes subtle enough that we might miss them altogether. For we all face certain types of darkness and evil in this world. Poverty, hunger, disease, divorce, weariness, stress...you name it, someone you know has probably experienced some level of it. I see it in my life through anxiety and OCD, my dad sees it in his life with Parkinson's and doubt, and my mom through stress at work, and at home being a caretaker. You may see it through the lens of financial issues. Others may struggle with divorce or difficulty conceiving children. These are fringes and shadows of what sin did to our world when it stepped into the Garden of Eden in Genesis.
It's hard not to get sucked into the vortex of darkness, especially when you may be living through a situation that continues from days to weeks or years. It seems even more impossible when you suffer through an illness mentally or physically—how can you possibly escape something that it literally inside your body or your mind? It's consuming...it's claustrophobic. I know for me, dealing with OCD can feel this way. If my mind gets stuck on something, the obsessive part of my mind will literally chew on it over and over, until I feel like a car stuck in mud—revving faster and faster yet sinking deeper and deeper with no forward progress. I feel panicked. I can feel angry or frustrated. I feel stuck and alone, which is exactly where Satan wants us to be.
In these cycles, one of the hardest things to do is mentally step back. Or step out, or reach out. Or simply take a deep breath. But in order to step out of any darkness, we MUST look for the light. We must make the choice to hit the pause button and not be all consumed by the darkness, whatever that is in our lives. For that is a choice—we may not have control over our circumstances, but we do have control over our reactions.
This is how the darkness reigns so well. Not only can it feel so all-encompassing that you don't feel you can escape it, but it also whispers that you can't rise above it. Indeed, Palpatine tries to convince Rey of this in The Rise of Skywalker. He wants her to strike him down and take the throne as Empress Palpatine, telling her it's her only option to save her friends from his Final Order fleet. And as we know, she finds another way. She does not listen to the lies of her enemy.
What if we did that more? Stopped listening to the enemy (sin, Satan), and started listening to what is right and what is true? That the light outshines the darkness. That Jesus came and died for us, giving us a new identity and new hope (see what I did there?).
44Then Jesus cried out, “Whoever believes in me does not believe in me only, but in the one who sent me. 45The one who looks at me is seeing the one who sent me.
46I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness. 47“If anyone hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge that person. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world. (John 12:44-47 NIV)
This is it ultimately why I love Snoke's quote about light meeting darkness. No matter how strong the darkness seems, light will always meet it. It is more powerful. Jesus is more powerful. Hope and truth are more powerful than fear, lies, and deception. And those who believe in Jesus are never alone.
Next time you feel stuck, hopeless, or alone, remember to stop. Breathe. Pray. Go. Reach out to someone. Call a hotline if needed. Go to the Contact page here and let me know how I can pray for you. But most of all...turn on a light.
Good versus evil, light versus darkness, Jedi versus Sith...which will you allow to shine through? If you're interested in battling against the darkness with our January Shirt of the Month, check out bonfire.com/darkness-rises/. With a Force-worthy quote on the front, and the powerful Bible verse of John 1:5 on the back, you too can rep a favorite fandom and the Truth. #darknessrises #thelightshines