chastisement · Community & Friendship · Faith · Preaching · stillness

What Masters the Dark

It’s the first of July, and in the midst of a winter chill, and I saw.

How candles can flicker on right through the night, and hope can be served right there when the heart is healed right here, and that the way to see the light of day is to walk through the length of night.

Because I’m seeing it: He’s not yet finished with us. 

The Light of life isn’t done with us.

He’s not over us, He’s not through with us and He’s not hopeless about us.

He is Truth, and He is Hope, and He is Light for days when darkness strikes.

I’m learning it and painstakingly remembering it:

It’s the topography of our hearts He wants to change, and always, the landscape of our lives He wants to shape.

And sometimes the worst that happens to us may be the best to bring the gold hidden in us.

Because the thing we loathe the most may be the thing we need the most.

Every valley shall be raised up,  every mountain and hill made low;
the rough ground shall become level,  the rugged places a plain.
And the glory of the Lord will be revealed,  and all people will see it together. For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” (Isaiah 40:4-5)

The prophet Isaiah — he’d spoken this word to bring comfort to a people enveloped in a land of  darkness.











He knew it wasn’t cheap comfort or fluffy words they needed to hear. 

He knew it wasn’t a mere passing of sympathy that one needs to hear when the pain is raw and the loss is real.

That for a people living in darkness and walking through dark days, it’s Light that quenches all darkness that people long to hear, that people’s desperate to hang onto.

And yet there’s no shame in admitting it.

Dark days are real. 

Discouragement is a constant enemy.

Depression is prevalent, and debilitating.

It affects anyone, and at any time.

It grabs you at the peak of your life and taunts you in the troughs of your tragedy.

And that no one’s really exempt.  

That the Bible too is replete with spiritual heroes who struggled with their own dark days 

That they too battled many deep despair, struggled with the existential questions of life, wrestled with great loneliness, were overcome with the feelings of defeat and insecurity and were finally overwhelmed with the reason for life.

And this question begs us — how long has it been dark for you

There was a moment of time on the bloody hill of Golgotha when darkness enveloped the earth.

It was the three hours of darkness that followed the death of a Man called the Saviour of the world whom we nailed on the wooden beam of a cross. 

It was the dark moment of history that smeared the pages of the rest of our story.

The moment on from where darkness is something that we helplessly and continuously fall into, and that which begins to sit in us, and form us, dampens, dulls and deadens us.  

And every time this “D” enemy of the soul occurs; discouragement, defeat, death, disappointment, disillusionment or anything disastrous or depressing happens, a bit of our inner world convulses.

“Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour.

And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:45-46-53)

And yet the Word isn’t quiet about what may be going loud inside despairing hearts.

In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.  (John 1:4-5)

The antidote to our despair:

In Him was life and that life is the light of men.

It is the light that shines brightly and envelopes our darkness.

It is Light which darkness does not comprehend, nor understand, nor able to extinguish.

Because what masters the dark is His Light that absorbs:

because three days later, Christ rose from the dead and shone His light and He now becomes our life.

Just when everyone thought that Light of the World was extinguished, He resurrects.

Just when we thought we’d be overcome by our darkness, He rose as our Bright Morning Star, our Dayspring from on High.

He defeats death and depression and gives life and love and light which perpetually shines in us, through us.

When darkness strikes, His Light overpowers. 

His hope now lives on in us.

So we can walk the rest of July with joy and pronounce it boldly with the Prophet:

We will arise.

We will shine.

For our light has come.

And the glory of the Lord has risen upon us.

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