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One thing I remember about living in Africa is that on the equator, the sun does not set gradually. In Africa, you don’t sit and watch the sunset. It happens without warning. In Africa, one never says, “It’s getting dark.” Being close to the equator gives new meaning to the phrase, “Night fell.” But there’s something else about being near the equator. In the same way that night instantly falls, dawn also comes with very little warning. The sky doesn’t begin to brighten right before dawn while you gradually watch the sun rise. The sun fairly leaps up at you, right out of the darkness.

I think that’s how God’s dawn breaks upon us. We’re right in the midst of the darkness . . . life is as dark as it has ever been . . . inside we feel a darkness as deep as a thousand midnights. And suddenly, there is a word, a friend, a scripture, a feeling, a sense . . . something almost miraculous that reaches into the depths of our soul with warmth and light. And it is peace.

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