Tag Archives: struggles

A Great Light

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Why is it that darkness can seem so dark sometimes? I’m not talking about night darkness. I mean a darkness in the soul. The darkness of evil. The darkness that you can feel and yet can’t seem to escape. It’s the kind of darkness that makes you feel like it will never pass. That you’ll be stuck in the dark forever.

The darkness is so thick, that you can’t see past it. You just can’t see period.

The thing I love about God is that He is completely unaffected by the dark.

11 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
    and the light about me be night,”
12 even the darkness is not dark to you;
    the night is bright as the day,
    for darkness is as light with you. Psalm 139:11-12

What is more, He is unaffected by your darkness. And at any moment in time, He can shine into your darkness, removing the feeling that it will last forever, and He brings hope. A deep, abiding hope.

Have you ever wondered why in 1 Corinthians 13, Paul writes,

13 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

???

These three things are spiritual gifts. Just like someone receives the gift of teaching, so can you receive the gift of faith or hope. This is why I can pray for someone walking in soul darkness to experience God’s deep, abiding hope and know that it will happen. He’s given me the gift of faith which helps me to trust that He will bring hope where it is most needed.

Let me explain it this way. Have you ever been in a situation in which everything seemed completely hopeless or impossible to change for the better? And then suddenly or over time, your feeling changed to one of hope, despite the evidence of your “hopeless” circumstances? Your situation did not change. Your heart did. It was a gift from your Father who knows your needs and desires. He reaches down and helps you come out of your darkness.

This is easier said than done, I realize that. I too have walked in darkness at different points in my life and will likely encounter more. Thank God we don’t go through the hard times at the same exact moment. Some of us are in a pleasant season and can bring hope to those who are in a troublesome season. He gives us words to encourage one another. He gives us His truth to brighten up the dark places. Maybe He gives some of us faith and hope so that we can spread it to others who don’t feel an ounce of faith or hope.

Remember this with all your heart if you remember nothing else. He is the God who fights for His children and will not leave any of them alone in their darkness.

This may look like a sweet smile from your 3 year old. Or a call from a friend. Or a letter full of His truth. Or a memory of His faithfulness. Or any number of jewels that direct your heart to Him and away from the clutching darkness. Be on the look-out. He is there, and He is not silent.

Isaiah 9-2

Isaiah 9:2

john 1-4-5

In Him was life and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:4-5

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How to Walk 101

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tommybw

Have you ever had a struggle that you felt like you would never get past? You would never be over? Maybe something wears you down and you feel like you’ll never learn how to get through it or triumph over it?

We are definitely creatures of short-sightedness.

If only we could have God’s perspective on our life! Shoulda woulda coulda.

I will never forget the wise words from one of my youth minister’s growing up. I was going through a struggle (one which I honestly can’t even recall! ha!), and he told me “This too shall pass.” Why I had never heard that before, I don’t know. I hear it all the time now! Or maybe you’ve heard people tell you, “It’s only a season.” And for goodness’ sake, you feel like the “season” is lasting all of your life!

Either way, we have such a hard time seeing past our current circumstances into the future where we experience the triumph or the character building from the struggle. Tunnel vision. The problem is that the tunnel seems so dark and the light so far away.

If you’ve ever had children, you remember those milestones through their infancy and into the toddler phase. First, you think they’ll NEVER sleep (or at least that’s what I thought with all three of my boys…I’m pretty sure I thought I was going to die several times through that “season”). And then one day, you wake up for the first time at 7 a.m. (instead of 1 a.m. and 4 a.m. and…) and you do the victory dance (and then quickly peak at the monitor to make sure baby is alive). Secondly, you think they’ll NEVER get those teeth in that seem to bother them for months (seriously?! what is up with that? I could collect drool and sell it for a small fortune). Then one day, you see two little teeth pop through their gums! Next, you think they’ll NEVER crawl. Then one day, you watch the movement from belly to hands and knees, see the rocking and they take off! Then you think they’ll NEVER walk. And then one day, they’re cruising around the coffee table and all of a sudden they let go and take a couple of steps to your open arms (and then for the next 2 years you wish they had never learned to walk because then they get into everything!). And so it goes year after year, milestone after milestone. You think they are never going to learn something, but then they do. And of course they do! Have you seen many adults who don’t sleep through the night and require multiple feedings at night? Any adults with no teeth? Any adults who only crawl everywhere? How absurd! Of course not! It’s all a part of our development as humans.

So why is our spiritual life any different? We drink the milk and move on to the meat. But we grow over time. We can’t start off with the meat anymore than a baby can start off walking and talking.

16 So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. 17 For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison,18 as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

These struggles can be to us “light momentary affliction” with the right perspective. These things that we deal with everyday are the “seen” and are transient.

tran·sient adjective 1. lasting only for a short time; impermanent. Synonyms: transitory, temporary, short-lived, short-term, impermanent, brief, short, momentary, fleeting, passing, here today and gone tomorrow.
So we look to the unseen! How strange to look to something we can’t see. It’s almost laughable! But it’s exactly and ironically what we must do. We look to our Father who knows our frame, He knows our struggles, He’s well acquainted with our griefs, and we cast those cares on Him. We put one foot in front of the other, and we do well some days to stay focused on Him and other days we fall flat. But the next day we get up and put one foot in front of the other, and we seek the unseen. We develop spiritual muscles, we depend on Him who alone makes us holy. And then one day, we start to sleep through the night. We start to get teeth. We start to crawl. And then we walk. Walk in step with the Spirit. Ever seeking, ever depending on Him. One foot in front of the other.