Light in the darkness

Chelsea Van Der Poel explores how regardless the season, God's goodness creates a hopeful new day.

On the first day of Advent, 2021, Chelsea Van Der Poel explores how regardless the season, God's goodness creates a hopeful new day.

Light in the darkness


The people who walked in darkness

   have seen a great light;

those who lived in a land of deep darkness—

   on them light has shined. . .

 For a child has been born for us,

   a son given to us;

authority rests upon his shoulders;

   and he is named

Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God,

   Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 

His authority shall grow continually,

   and there shall be endless peace

for the throne of David and his kingdom.

   He will establish and uphold it

with justice and with righteousness

   from this time onwards and for evermore.

The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.

                                                     Isaiah 9:2, 6-7



Sunrises and sunsets are the highlights of my day! No two are the same - each display is a unique work of art. Isaiah prophesied this kind of beauty and the coming of our Messiah.

As a believer and a creative person, and inspired by Isaiah, I describe my excitement to witness our Creator’s craftsmanship. . .

I wake up, I look outside and it is still dark. 

I grab my camera and head out of the house. 

I’m fortunate enough to live as a neighbour to the ocean, so I walk down the street towards the sound of waves whispering to me, ‘good morning’. 

The morning breeze hits like a soft kiss on my skin. 

I look up, just as a slice of first light breaks through the darkness. 

As the light starts to come through the clouds, I rush to the beach. 

I stand for a few seconds, and I gladly welcome God's new day.


Now this may just be me, but I never look at a sunrise or a sunset and think, ‘hmm, I better put my washing away’, or think, ‘hmm, I'd rather be watching TV!’. On the days I do get to watch a sunrise or a sunset, it has my full attention and I try to take in every moment of it. Either marvelling at every ray of light, every unique colour, as they harmoniously sing across the skies.

As a photographer, it’s been amazing to contribute along with other photographers across the Common Grace movement this year.

I'm often reminded of what Paul writes to the Corinthians:

“Now, if anyone is enfolded into Christ, he has become an entirely new person. All that is related to the old order has vanished. Behold, everything is fresh and new.” - 2 Corinthians 5:17 (The Passion Translation)


Creator God has made everything fresh and new

A new day to start over. 

A new day to hold onto my husband and babies. 

A new day to make mistakes, get up and try again. 

A new day to take in God's goodness.


I don't mind if it's sunrise or sunset, because the very sight of either of these is a tangible, beautiful reminder that it’s the start of something new, or the end of another brilliant day - into darkness comes a great light!


I see it. A New Day. 

I see God's fresh new day!


Chelsea Van Der Poel is a photographer with over 10 years experience living on Gubbi Gubbi Country (North Brisbane, Queensland). Chelsea is married to Dave, and together they have 3 children; Chas, Pepper and Cruz. Chelsea loves people and sharing the testimony of God’s goodness with others.


Good morning, Lord! 

Today's a new, fresh day, a chance for a new start. 

Yesterday is gone and with it any regrets, mistakes, or failures. 

It's a good day to be alive, Lord. 

Thank you for today, a new opportunity to love, give, and be all that you want me to be. 



Photograph: Biz Adams, Sunrise, Uluru, Anangu Country, Northern Territory


Visual Description: The sun is rising over Uluru, on Anangu Country. The land is dark, the sky above the horizon blends from orange to yellow to light blue. The top half of the sky is covered with a translucent layer of pink cloud. A couple of stars shine in the centre of the sky.





This devotional is the first in a series of daily email devotionals for Advent 2021. This year's series reflects on the opportunity we have this Advent to step into a new day with the expectant hope of the birth of Jesus. Would you like to receive the rest of this email series?

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Advent: A New Day