Friday, October 28, 2011
When the Darkness Rises
What a beautiful mess we are in God’s sight, beautiful in our imperfection and fears. I know I am not strong enough to rise above each and every struggle I face; at least not alone anyway. Lately I have been reaching deeper than ever before into my faith, believing my anxious heart can see past the unsure moment of now, knowing I have nothing to fear despite the voices of uncertainty closing in on me. Nothing can separate His love from my life, even when I doubt Him; He is there with me, holding my life in His hands even when I am running full speed in the other direction.
The world’s dreams slip like water through my hands on a daily basis but does that mean I am empty, that I have nothing left to hold on to? Sure I have been to the darkest of places too many times to mention. Sometimes I can see the darkness coming; sometimes it sneaks up on me. Either way I am generally frozen as the sky begins to grow dark and the clouds roll in full of worry, fear, despair and chains eager to tie me down to my own insecurities and failures. When the darkness sets in it can seem as if there is no light in sight, we may feel as if we have been abandoned, left to the wolves, dropped into an endless dark ocean, even a flash flood, all alone without a life preserver. Life can take all we know and turn it not only upside down but sideways. We can fall into each pothole, trip over each fallen branch, each rock in the road as we stumble through the endless darkness of night.
Sometimes, when life takes a sharp twisted turn down an unknown road, full of cries in the dark, winds whipping across our faces in agony and vines reaching out to pull us further into the dead of night we tend to freeze, to close our eyes and hope it will all just go away. But what happens when we finally open our eyes and nothing has changed? Do we fall deeper into the darkness, do we give up or do we fight our way through it? Change will come, night will pass and the Sun will rise, no doubt. The rain falls, yet the sun still rises and shines down on our faces does it not? We can lose count of the nights, the cold icy sleepless nights we spend out here in the wilderness. It can seem as if the pain is here to stay, permanently attached to our hearts but the truth in my life, in the faith I hold to is when we are hurt He hurts, when we cry He cries, His mercy reaches to lift us up from the pits of despair, wrapping His warmth all around us through the cold dark night.
God hears us; we are His children, we are apart of His heart. His hand is always there for me, even when I cannot see it personally, I can feel it touching me, I can feel His love surrounding me despite the deep dark empty space I am way too aware of around me . I am always in need of His grace, but no matter what the day brings, my faith is found in this grace, this mercy and this love. My hope is never-ending because I know I am never alone! Don’t give up friends, stay the course, wipe the dirt off your face and know that these tears flowing from inside your heart is the courage of your soul pouring out!
Go ahead, grab up those sticks and branches of what you see as failures in your life and stir a fire within your being. Let it stretch up into the darkness of your night, dance and sing; let your voice rise above the fear surrounding you. Go ahead let the lord of darkness know the Lord of Light is coming for you and His light will chase the fear, the despair and the eeriness of night away. Joy comes in the morning light as mercy comes running, and it is then we can see what we thought was unbearable, what was so freighting has passed.
The truth is we all come undone, fall apart, but God’s embrace, the touch of His grace pulls all those broken pieces back together again. Sure they may not all be in the same place we had them, but the truth is sometimes it’s the revelation of brokenness that creates a whole new work of art in our lives. Sometimes these dark, dusty, back roads full of things that go bump in the night is actually our Father working ahead of us, reinforcing the path in front of us, making it wider, paving and setting the road for us to travel down with Him.
So when the darkness rises again and it will let me assure you, I know fear will slip her way into my heart, but I am also fervently aware peace will overcome the shadows of fear and despair because I am not defined by the mistakes I make, I am made new each and every morning by the same grace within me. Did He not calm the seas, say Peace be still? So then why do we doubt He can calm our own chaotic lives, fill us with His grace, and bring the waters of fear and despair to a peaceful calm? Maybe now is the time to stretch our arms toward His grace, maybe this is the hour He will heal our broken hearts, calm our worrisome and fearful souls awakening our hearts, shining light through the darkness of our deepest night? All we have to do let go of all our expectations and believe, taking that first step of faith knowing He can make all things new! Does this mean everyday we will rise above flying across the sky, strong and courageous? Well courageous yes, strong not always but the one thing I have come to know without doubt is our struggles here on earth define each one of us; mold us into men and women of strength, of real true courage. We are made for more than the brokenness life brings us and even when the demons of night come to steal our hope, it's never truly taken from us is it? Looking back at the old road I was traveling before the night fell, I can tell you I am grateful for the darkness I have had to face, because with the rise of the Sun, a new day has begun and I can see all the new possibilities He has carved out for me.