The power went out the other night. Like -no warning (as is normal, I suppose!) and suddenly:
thick inky darkness.
No sound. No flicker. Just soft lighting and then suddenly, black endless nothingness.
Until the lights --I mean, ALL of the lights-- go out, you don't really realize how dark darkness actually is.
We were in the basement watching a movie with only a small lamp on and suddenly the lamp, the clock and lights on the tv and dvd player, the lights on Wii remotes, the hallway light upstairs... even the street lights and traffic lights outside... all of them, gone.
"Hello Darkness, my old friend..."
No, wait... Not that.
Literally, hours before this black out, I wrote this in my journal:
"We are surrounded by
Darkness and Death.
It's no wonder that
we've been called to
Be Light and Life.
We are His, after all,
and He is the Light of the World
the Way, the Truth, and the Life."
the Way, the Truth, and the Life."
We are nearing that time of year that we hear this message most often. Christmas time... the Saviors' birth... a Light shining in the darkness... you know the drill.
While I believe the whole story and I long to shine brightly, I also know that we are surrounded by a lot of darkness. It's everywhere we look, and it desires to cloak us in and put heavy burdens on us and lessen the light that we have been called to live in. Even my look-on-the-bright-side, cup-half-full bent can see that times are hard.
We are not big Evening News watchers. It's not that we are unaware (mostly) but there is just so rarely ever anything GOOD reported on and, listen, we all live in this world - we know it's fallen. We walk around and work and live and go to the Mall and we can see and feel and hear the heaviness.
The Struggle IS real, ya'll... it's not just a saying.
But here's the thing...
When it is so dark,
it only takes a little light
to change what we can see.
Maybe you're in a season of wandering around in a fog... battling a bit of darkness of your own. Maybe you have lost your way or don't even know which way is up, where to look to, to find the light. Maybe the darkness is thick and it's making it hard to breath. Maybe it is sickness or finances or fear that is crippling. Maybe it is just an unsettling and you can't pinpoint why or what or when it even first started creeping in. Maybe you have felt lost in the woods for a long, long while now.
But I believe you are being drawn out into the clear!
Maybe the thought of the coming season of Joy to the World feels like too much to bear. Maybe hearing another encouragement or platitude or well-intentioned comment about how things will turn out fine and how God is with you is not really making you feel very seen or heard or held at all.
I'm sorry for that. In some ways we are all in the dark. Sometimes we don't know what to say. Sometimes we want to have the answer or be the answer or simply wave it all away and wish it gone.
Instead let's pray for miracles...
We pray for God to lighten the load
and light the way and Oh My Goodness,
how He already has, but we forget!
We forget that God brings Miracles in the Dark... every day...
Miracles happen all around us and within us and we are unaware or unimpressed because we want the miraculous to be big and showy with lots of fanfare.
But sometimes Miracles come slowly and silently... unfolding and unfurling like a reluctant smile. It does no good to fight against it, for once we begin to take notice and give thanks one by one, we can't help but find miracles in the dark as we let light come.
Sometimes light comes in with cloud cover and rain, and sometimes it comes in with clear skies and the warmth of the sun.
But it comes.
Sometimes it comes in quiet time... when no words are left to pray. And sometimes it comes with the company of friends... kindred hearts and spirits who wrap warmth around us and pour out love.
But, either way,
Light comes. Miracles happen.
Hope is restored.
There is a verse that I love and I know I need the reminder from time to time while living in the midst of this world... I don't know if this helps you - but I know that it helps me:
"For once you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord." (Ephesians 5:8)
That is some great Good News, right there! What I love most about this verse is how it reminds me... I was once darkness... but now I am light in the Lord!
Let's not forget this.
We have been redeemed and the Light of the World abides in us! (Talk about a miracle!)
When we lost power a few nights ago, it was just for a few hours but it was quiet. Eerily so... and completely black. But in that darkness, we knew it... we were not alone.
God is not looking for a back door, quiet exit, sneaking-in-back-corners-in-hushed-tones way to say that you are His! Oh no!
He wants it loud and proud
and out in the
wide (bright) open spaces!
He wants everyone to know and see!
He wants to move in you and through you and work Miracles in the Dark... He wants to partner with you to Let Light Come!
Oh how I pray you are willing.