How to Find Hope on a Long Silent Night
This January will mark 15 years since I stopped running from Jesus and let him grab hold of me - I’m so thankful this Christmas through the ups and downs and storms and trials of the past decade and a half it’s clear he’s never let go!
I remember so clearly how amazing it felt to be walking with Jesus - confessing my sins, talking to him in prayer, enjoying fellowship with other believers - and yet, deep in my soul was a well of pain, hurt, and confusion. Yes, Jesus loved me as the familiar song of my childhood stated so clearly - but would he be ok if I I was unable to fully overcome issues I’d struggled with most of my life? Was I really a Christian if I was never fully “healed?” And what about my friends that I loved but seemed to have no interest in Jesus - why did Jesus love me and not my friends? (That’s a question that still haunts my soul to this day)
How did I choose to deal with these nagging questions and doubts? Sometimes I had the courage to honestly share them with my Christian friends and family, asking for prayer and seeking wise counsel - but most of the time I avoided the inner conflict by staying busy. If my life was filled with constant activity, I never had to stop and dwell on those difficult issues buried deep in my heart. Some nights I would aimlessly surf the web for hours alone in my room instead of spending time with God; looking back now I can see this was my avoidance strategy, and for a time it worked.
Alicia Bruxvoort with Proverbs 31 ministries (Hi Alicia!) does a great job articulating this struggle in her devotional today titled “How to Find Hope on a Long Silent Night.” She talks about the questions that bubble up to the surface of our hearts when we finally have time to slow down from our busy lives, questions about our doubts that we often want to avoid. Thankfully there is good news to find in the silence! She says, “The good news of great joy changed the course of every silent night to come. Because we don’t have a God who merely pierces our darkness. We have a Savior who lingers beside us on our long silent nights (Isaiah 9:2-7). “
Are you using “busy” to avoid the doubts that plague your mind in the silence? There’s good news this Christmas! Slow down, give those doubts to your Savior, and embrace the light - our risen Savior - that chases away the darkness and gives us life!