Even in the Darkness

I don’t know about you, but I am so, so glad it is spring!!! We’re all wired a bit differently; I’m one of those people whose moods are very much affected by the seasons and weather, and this long, brutal winter was definitely starting to wear me down emotionally and spiritually. I love seeing the sun; love walking outdoors and seeing the tulips my son helped me plant last fall poking up through the dirt, love seeing some green leaves on my strawberry plants hidden under the mulch.

My emotions are starting to catch up to spring, but spiritually I still feel like I’m struggling to get out of winter. The fact that life is full of ups and downs is something I think we all share in common; my 8+ year journey through chronic pain has had lots of them - 2018 was a time of relative calm, but so far 2019 has been rocky and unsteady. When my pain levels rise God can feel very distant, and at times dark clouds of fear begin to gather around my soul.

Joni Eareckson Tada knows about fear, pain, and times of incredible darkness. After she was paralyzed nearly 50 years ago Joni went through a period where she thrashed her neck as hard as she could, hoping to break it and end her life. There’s no darker place than one where you feel like the only answer is suicide - I’ve been there on several occasions. The good news? God’s love is greater than the darkness. The prophet Isaiah knew this; he wrote in Isaiah 50:10: “Who among you fears the Lord and obeys the word of his servant? Let the one who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of the Lord and rely on their God.”

I love that phrase - “Let the one who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of the Lord and rely on God.” Jesus experienced the greatest darkness ever known when he hung on the cross, forsaken by his Father. He knows the darkness we experience as well. Hebrews 4:15 is such an encouragement! The Word tells us:

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.

The darkness can invade our lives in so many ways, from big and obvious like a terminal cancer diagnosis or spouse who is leaving for another lover to something as simple as a nagging struggle with depression or anxiety. Whatever our darkness may be, let’s never forget THE light - Jesus Christ!