John 8:12 (NLT)
Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.”
For a long time, I have been struggling. It is evident in my own heart and mind. I am quite sure those around me have sensed it as I have withdrawn a bit. Though I am not ready to go into detail the revelation that I believe the Lord is unraveling before me right now, I am quite sure like most things it will come pouring out in pages yet to come. I have been pressing, pushing and powering forward by sheer will and determination to see the Goodness and Glory of God in my life. It is by faith that I have held on to the anchor called hope with what little strength that I have left. The darkness that has closed in around me is unfamiliar. It is not my own nature nor characteristic of my experience in Christ. Last night as we made our way to church listening to my girls and husband talking and the radio playing in the background seeking solace in my mind, my heart whispered to the Lord – “I need you!” It was not the kind of demand attached to any promise or expectation but the cry from the deepest part of my heart plunged in a darkness that I do not understand yet pulls me deeper. As we worshipped, I could feel the love that I have for my God and Savior pouring out of me so I know that His Love is me. I felt the peace that comes in His Presence. The pastor was teaching on Christ in us. But the darkness hidden deep inside like a dark abyss still holding on and not letting go. I know that Jesus lives in me. I know that I am saved. I know that I love God and am serving Him. How can it be possible for darkness to still have a hold on my heart? It didn’t make sense and I became lost in my thoughts in that moment.
It happened so quickly that I cannot explain it. Shaking me from my cloudy thoughts back to reality, the Holy Spirit quickened in the Man of God and for lack of better or more fitting terms – He read my mail. Now if you have never had a person led by the Spirit tell you exactly what you are thinking and proceed to shed light on the matter – you don’t know what you are missing. I say this with a smirk and nod at the same time. It is very unnerving and at the same time totally transforming. A light came on in my heart that illuminated the struggle that was within me. Christians have struggles. Believers fight battles of the heart. Darkness will always try to invade the light. Just because you are feeling this way or experiencing some form of depression in your life does not mean that you are separated from the Lord or even have lost your way. You just need to shed a little more light on it until you get to the heart of the matter.
2 Samuel 22:17-19 (NLT)
“He reached down from heaven and rescued me; he drew me out of deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemies, from those who hated me and were too strong for me. They attacked me at a moment when I was in distress, but the Lord supported me. He led me to a place of safety; he rescued me because he delights in me. The Lord rewarded me for doing right; he restored me because of my innocence. For I have kept the ways of the Lord; I have not turned from my God to follow evil. I have followed all his regulations; I have never abandoned his decrees. I am blameless before God; I have kept myself from sin. The Lord rewarded me for doing right. He has seen my innocence. To the faithful you show yourself faithful; to those with integrity you show integrity. To the pure you show yourself pure, but to the crooked you show yourself shrewd. You rescue the humble, but your eyes watch the proud and humiliate them. O Lord, you are my lamp. The Lord lights up my darkness.”
The Lord lights up the darkness. He is our lamp. This was the part of the verse that I was getting to but as I read through 2 Samuel 22, I couldn’t stop with just that one verse. “He reached down from heaven and rescued me; He drew me out of deep waters.” That is exactly how I felt last night when the light came on in my heart. Suddenly I wasn’t ashamed anymore. Why was I ashamed? What did I see inside my heart? I saw guilt that was unwarranted. There was unnecessary shame. I bought into the lie that Christians do not get discouraged and that believers do not get overwhelmed. I have been beating myself for months for my lack of joy. I blamed myself for offending God with my obvious lack of enthusiasm. But what I discovered in the Light of His Love was that the Lord didn’t feel that way about me at all. He delights in me even when I do not delight in myself. He has been trying to reveal this to me throughout the process but I was so busy being mad at myself that it was not getting through. The Lord STILL wants to reward me for doing right. He is restoring me day by day. He is still being faithful. He is still holding true to His Word. He doesn’t expect anything out me but full surrender. This is probably the toughest part of all, I expect more of myself than the Lord does. I want to make a difference for Jesus in this lifetime. I want to give Him my all. But all that He really requires is all of me. In this place of total humility before the Lord, I am open, exposed, weak and transparent. My flesh is not happy about this position. Hidden in the darkest part of my heart trying to save itself, it is not out in the open and must be dealt with severely.
Job 30:26-28 (NLT)
So I looked for good, but evil came instead. I waited for the light, but darkness fell. My heart is troubled and restless. Days of suffering torment me. I walk in gloom, without sunlight. I stand in the public square and cry for help.
Whether you find yourself in this place of darkness physically, emotionally or spiritually, it is all equally as difficult. If you know the Light of God’s Love, it can be even more confusing. I looked for good. I wait for the Light. My heart is troubled and restless even though I am not entirely sure why. The days of past suffering do torment me. I am crying out for help. I know that this a God and me thing. The Lord will reveal the mysteries of the dark to me if I ask Him in faith. (Daniel 2:22) As long as I remain in right standing with the Lord, His Light is always shining in my life even when I cannot see or comprehend it. (Psalm 112:4) Revelation will expose the dark areas of my life and most often reveal more of His Love trying to penetrate our heart, mind, body and soul. Revelation may be uncomfortable but the release that is found when darkness turns to light is worth every squirming minute.
Psalm 139:11-12 (NLT)
I could ask the darkness to hide me and the light around me to become night—but even in darkness I cannot hide from you. To you the night shines as bright as day. Darkness and light are the same to you.
This is not for those who are trying to live in the darkness but still want the light. You cannot do both. The darkness is always overcome by the Light. Your secrets will be exposed. Sin will always be drug into the light so it can be swiftly dealt with in the life of those who cry out for Jesus. This is for those people who strive to serve God but one morning find themselves overshadowed in darkness. They want to feel the peace and joy that once illuminated their way. Those who will stop at nothing to live and thrive in the Presence of God. This is who the Lord is calling out to today. Those who feel guilty for their depression or discouragement feeling like they should know better and be thankful for all that the Lord is doing so they do not deal with the darkness but allow it to exist. Darkness and light are the same to God. He sees right through them like He sees right through you. There is no point in hiding your weakness or insufficient faith because my friend His Grace is enough. He knows. He cares. He wants to pull you from the dark despair into His Glorious Light. You have no reason to be ashamed but the right to be healed and made whole according to your covenant with Jesus Christ who is our Lord and Savior. There is no reason to hide your weakness but let the Light of His Love work through it.
John 1:4-5 (NLT)
The Word gave life to everything that was created and his life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness and the darkness can never extinguish it.
The Word is life. Jesus is the Word. Jesus is the Light of the world. The Light shines in the darkness and the darkness can NEVER extinguish it. The enemy wants you to think that you should be ashamed of your decent into such a dark place. There is a difference between darkness overshadowing you and you stepping into darkness. Those who pursue good and live for the Light will never be judged for the dark times that they experience. The only way that darkness will be detrimental is if we love it more than the Light. (John 3:19) This is not the case at all for those who love and serve Jesus. Don’t buy into the lie that you are less of a Christian or a failed believer if you experience dark times or depression in your life. Just give shoving it into the Light, He is faithful to shine the Light of His Love in your life and heal your broken heart. The Word gives life so pack your wounds with it. Speak it over the darkness and ask the Spirit of God for revelation that will light up the darkness trying to permeate your heart and soul. It is unfounded. The Giver of Life and Light has a brightness to shine in your heart for the world to see. Let the Lord turn on the light of His Love for you today.
Psalm 97:11-12 (NLT)
Light shines on the godly, and joy on those whose hearts are right. May all who are godly rejoice in the Lord and praise his holy name!