Saturday, February 18, 2012

Finding Hope In the Darkness

I woke to find a morning that was dark and rainy. There was light drizzle, the temperature hanging close to freezing. The rain dripped slowly from the railing, not sure whether to splash to the ground or wait to be part of a new icicle. The day was going to be gray the sun could not burn its way through the thickness. And yet in that was beauty.  It was not a cruel harshness of a beating rain, tormenting the earth. Instead it was a simple moment, easing the earth into the coldness that will come.

 Isaiah 9:1&2

Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress,…

 The people walking in darkness
have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of deep darkness
a light has dawned

   Darkness comes into our lives like that day. We wake up one day and suddenly the sunshine is gone.  It takes the form of trial or tragedy. In those time we look to God or we let go, turning from God and making our own path. When we hang on, like the icicle, allowing ourselves to take on a new form. It is a slow process.  We look for comfort and answers, expecting Him to be there promptly and with clarity. Why can’t our lives always be sunshine and warmth? Forgetting that will take away from the process, causing a meltdown that will take away from our progress.  Stomping a foot, “Well, if you won’t give me what I want I won’t love you anymore.”  And with that we crash to the ground below.   Leaving our lives in a shattered mess, melting into the earth.

    Like the weather no matter how much sunshine we’ve had, when the clouds roll in there is a sense of gloom and disappointment. Realizing there’s nothing we can do to change the weather, we complain about it. Somehow in this we feel better about it. Giving the earth permission to rest, but wanting it to happen on our terms. There is a part of our humanism that makes us decide what is acceptable darkness. As long as God stays within our boundaries we’re okay with it. Yet it is in the letting go of control that the most beautiful and needed moments come to our lives. A wild snowstorm may wreak havoc, but it provides us much needed water.

    “I don’t mind the rain, but it’s so dark.” Gloom overwhelms us. It effects our bodies. In those times we should rest, but we have work, agendas, laundry , how can we possibly rest. Rest is a time of separation from the concerns of the world. It can be a literal, set aside time apart. Scripture tells us that we should pray without ceasing. So do you roll out of bed onto your knees and stay there until you crawl back into bed? Of course not. Being at rest in our souls is the same idea. There are times when we stop and physically rest our minds and bodies. There are other times when we continue to work, knowing that our soul can rest in the one that is forming us into the thing of beauty that we will become.

     We have been taught to fear the darkness. That something lurks there, waiting to devour us. That Satin dwells there. What we can see in scripture is that God dwells in the darkness.  In those moments of life when the darkness seems to be the worst thing, there is God. Working in our lives every day and every moment, in the darkness he dwells. Waiting for us to stop, be still and know that He is there.

                The darkness is beautiful, look at it, great light is there waiting to be revealed.

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