Jesus, help me remember that dark times do come, but they don’t last forever — and you’re here to guide me through them. Amen!

“At the end of the world, the sun and moon will grow dark, and the stars will fall from the sky,” said Jesus. “Then I’ll come back and gather all the good people in the world. When a tree grows leaves, you know summer is coming. When you see the signs I talked about, know that God is coming.”

The darkest times in a kid’s life often come before big, positive changes. Just when you’re most frustrated — you are not getting anywhere with those horrible science quizzes, you don’t understand why you got stuck with a mean homeroom teacher or your friends seem to have deserted you — something comes “unstuck.” Maybe it’s not all better, but it’s not quite as frustrating.

In this week’s Gospel (Mark 13:24-32), Jesus talks about dark times. At the end of the world, He says, even the sun and moon will turn dark, and the stars will fall.

Imagine how dark it would be without any moon or stars at all! Everyone would be stumbling around, trying to see where they were going.

What do you do at a dark time like that? You grab a flashlight. You hold someone’s hand, so you can find your way together. You pray for help.

Jesus was pretty smart. In talking about the end of the world — something we hope won’t happen for ages and ages — He was also talking about times when you just feel like it’s the end of the world.

When a dark time comes in your life, it’s a good idea to “look for the light” that’s still there: an adult you trust, a friend you can still lean on — and, of course, God. Jesus’ story about the end of the world ended with God coming, but you know God is already here, listening to your prayers and loving you more than anything.

Dark times are scary, but they don’t last forever. Jesus promised that!