Are We So Afraid of Our Darkness?
Devotional Thoughts of the Day:
11 I could ask the darkness to hide me and the light around me to become night— 12 but even in darkness I cannot hide from you. To you the night shines as bright as day. Darkness and light are the same to you. Psalm 139:11-12 (NLT)
“Nobody is wise who does not know the darkness. I appreciate the dark hours of my existence in which my senses are sharpened.” (1)
678 From Saint Paul’s teaching, we know that we have to renew the world in the spirit of Jesus Christ, that we have to place Our Lord at the summit and at the heart of all things. Do you think you are carrying this out in your work, in your professional task?
Some recent events corresponded to my devotional readings this morning.
The thing we have in common is the darkness that affects our lives. In some cases, it may be depression, or loneliness. It could also be grief, and dealing with the threat of death, or death itself. It can also be dealing with the consequences of sin, and falling in times of great temptation.
Each of these times have their own level of darkness, and we encounter them in life. They are there, unavoidable. Yes, even Christians have to deal with the darkness of life, the despair that can creep up and oppress us,
The challenge is not the darkness, but rather in not facing the darkness, It isn’t the pain and anxiety the darkness can cause, but in trying to become comfortable with it, rather than being comforted as we endure it.
In one of my devotions, quoted above in green bold print, there was the comment that we can find our senses sharpened by the darkness. Based on the rest of the reading this doesn’t mean we look to embrace the darkness, but rather that there, acknowledging the darkness, we become more aware of God’s presence, as God comforts us, protects us, gives our hearts and minds peace that is…supernatural, unexplainable, glorious.
THe pslamist knew this as well, for even that darkness cannot stop God, He sees us, hears our cries. The Hly Spirit, the gift of our baptism, the one called the Paraclete, the comforter, comes an supports us, and we become aware of it as well.
The Spirit of God reminds us of all the promises given to us, as we are united with Christ, in His death, in His resurrection, and even while we await for His return. (Check our Colossians 3:1-3 about this – it is amazing!) This is why the promise of baptism is so… incredible.
Darkness and light in our lives fade in their meaning, as we realize the presence of God. His presence, His glory.
If we hide in the darkness, if we ignore its oppression, if we try to make people comfortable with it, by diminishing the pain, diminishing the horror, discounting the anxiety and angst, we are not doing them any good. Trauma sucks, Depression is scary and overwhelming. Loneliness is something beyond which we normally can deal with, even introverts. Grave illness and death cause our souls to shrink and become almost fetal as we fear that which we cannot overcome. And sin destroys.
Unless the glorious healing power of Jesus presence is known. Unless we realize that He is here, caring for us, our wonderful Lord and Savior, who does reign. Who is, as Escriva writes, the heart and summit of all things.
So even in the darkness, He is there… eliminating it.
The words of Hebrews 12 come so clearly to mind>
1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. 2 We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. Hebrews 12:1-2 (NLT)
and take great joy – here is that verse from Colossians
1 Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. 2 Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. 3 For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 And when Christ, who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory. Colossians 3:1-4 (NLT)
And rejoice, and sing His praises, for as we endure the darkness of our lives, the lives in which He is the Lord, the darkness simply helps us be aware of His work in our lives……
To Him who sits on the throne, be all glory and honor and praise…. AMEN
(1) From Celtic Daily Book, devotional for 1/8 Finian Series
(2) Escriva, Josemaria (2011-01-31). The Forge (Kindle Locations 2501-2504). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.
Posted on January 7, 2015, in Devotions, Poeima, The Forge and tagged absolution, anxiety, apostolate, brokenness, Celtic Prayer Book, cHesed, Darkness, death, depression, life, practicing the presence of God, sin, St. Josemaria Escriva. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.