How Do I Survive the Dark Times
Devotional Thought of the Day:
4 The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it. 6 God sent a man, John the Baptist, 7 to tell about the light so that everyone might believe because of his testimony. 8 John himself was not the light; he was simply a witness to tell about the light. 9 The one who is the true light, who gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. John 1:4-9 (NLT)
862 When darkness surrounds us and our soul is blind and restless, we have to go to the Light, like Bartimaeus. Repeat, shout, cry out ever more strongly, Domine, ut videam!—Lord, that I may see… And daylight will dawn upon you, and you will be able to enjoy the brightness He grants you. (1)
When darkness hides His shining face, I’ll rest on his unending grace….. (2)
I’ll admit, even as a Christian there are times when darkness settles in, where my soul is restless, anxious, stressed. Where the struggles of life get to me, and I can’t abide the stillness I need, the quiet I need to be able to listen, and hear the still small voice of God. To be able to see through the blinding darkness, to be even able to see enough to fire off an emergency flare.
This world’s evil can do that to us, as can grief, as can unresolved brokeness, and unreconciled sin. We live as aliens in this world, and it is a world that is plunged into darkness.
Because we have been in the light, these momentary (compared to eternity) moments scare us, frighten us, disorient us. We don’t know how to deal with it, because we know life, the life we have been given in Christ. This isn’t it.
Yet out of such times come hymns like “A Mighty Fortress”, “It is Well”, “Amazing Grace”, “On Christ the Solid Rock I Stand”, the great Psalms 8, 51, 139, modern praise lament music by people like Michael Card, Tori Hunter, and Casting Crowns. (Can anyone hear her?) All are written from insid e the darkness, even as the faint ligtht is seen, even as the cries we’ve poured out with all that is within us come to being.
We might recognize this on our days in the light, but it takes a trust that is well acquainted with God’s nature, that has experienced being pulled out of the darkmess to relax, to be still, to know that God is there, even when we can’t feel it, even when darkness is suffocating us. And even then, in those first moements when the storms crash, when the waves threaten, when darkness coalesces and gains strength, we can lose sight of who we know, and His history of rescuing us from sin, and Satan’s attacks, and the anxiety of death.
It is at that time we need to remember that we can cry out, that it is not a sign of surrendering to our problems, or the darkness, but a realization that only God’s light can penetrate it, only His light can alleiviate it. Only His love can bring us the assurance that we are in His care. The situation may not change, but His light, His promises, His word, His presence makes all the difference!
So we learn to wait, with expectation, with the knowledge that God’s plan will see you through the time. Hear the voices of people sent to minister to you, to bring that light. Be still, know He is God…. and that His light will indeed shine.
- Escriva, Josemaria (2011-01-31). Furrow (Kindle Locations 3533-3536). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.
- Lyrics to On Christ the Shining Rock
Posted on August 23, 2014, in Devotions, Poiema, The Furrow and tagged Amazing Grace, anxiety, Casting Crowns, Darkness, depression, grace, Light, Michael Card, Ministry, On Christ the Solid Rock, restlessness, St Josemara Escriva, Tori Hunter, waiting on God, worry. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.