- Religion and Philosophy»
- Christianity, the Bible & Jesus
Seeing God's Light Through Darkness
Storms happen all the time, sometimes they are forecasted beforehand and there is a warning; in which case we are better prepared and can handle the aftermath. However, some storms creep up without warning and these can be the most damaging. I am speaking of the term storms in both the meteorological and physically, either storm can knock you off your feet and leave your head spinning wondering what happened. Having hard times is par for the course, everyone, from time to time will have dark moments, even Christians? There is a cliché that Christians have a perfect life, and that they themselves are perfect. Wow, if only this statement were honestly true, we all would become Christians just so we could be perfect. The truth of the matter is we all sin and fall short of the glory of God, Romans 3:23. Often times, Christians are put to a “faith test” this is where God challenges the true faith of a Christian. Do we always pass? I cannot speak for every Christian out there, but I know for myself, I can say no. No, I do not always pass, more often than not I fail and I fail miserly.
Now that we have established that we all sin, and we all have dark times what separates us from Non-Christians? The simple fact that we know that even through the darkness there is light. God will not forsake us and he never gives us more than we can handle. In many cases we as humans feel as if it is too much to handle, but God knows us better than we know ourselves. He gives us trials, afflictions, and difficulties to renew our strength in him and our faith gets stronger. Our eyes are focused upon him rather than the hard times we are facing and therefore we are able to see the light peak through. This gives us the energy to push through the muck and the mud to finally reach dry ground, sometimes it is on a mountain top and other times just a hill. It is not where we land after the fall, it is how much we trusted God during it. In 2 Corinthians 4:6 God said “Let the light shine out of the darkness.”
When it's dark, lonely and sometimes cold what stops us from looking above and asking the Lord for a hand? One is pride, many of us have too much pride and that can get in the way of a better life, another is shameful, we know that deep down we have to do something to put us where we landed. What could be other reasons to why we do not ask for help? Maybe we feel unworthy, unloved, or in the way. There could be multiple reasons, what we forget is, no matter what we have done, God is there, even when it may not feel as if he is, God is there. One of my favorite poems is the “Footprints in the Sand”, in the darkest of times God is there, the reason there is only one set of footprints is because God is carrying you through. What a wonderful analogy. There were many times in my life where I felt that I was all alone in this world, where things looked so bleak and dark. I did not know at the time, but God was there, and his reason may not have made sense, but when the light shined through it was clear on what he wanted. He wanted my attention, all of my attention. God is a jealous God and although he gives us things in life, he also wants us to focus on him and know it is because of him we are blessed. There are those negative Nancy people that always ask the tired and worn out question, “Why does God bless some and not all?” This is a tough question and I am not God so I do not have the exact answer, but what I can say is that God knows our hearts and he has a plan. Remember Satan can mimic what God does and twist it to make it look as if it is God’s plan. There is often times that God will strip us from everything, take us out of our comfort zone, and reshape and mold us all over again.
I am reminded of Job, he represented a fearful Godly man that had it all, wisdom, family, riches, and a fearful but loving heart of God. He was a righteous man, so righteous that Satan told God that he could break Job and have him turn from God. God accepted this challenge and allowed Satan to do anything but kill Job. Through the darkness that Satan took Job through there was still light, God’s light though it may have been dim at times; the Light of God was there. In Job 1:9-12 Satan and God are having a conversation about Job, God was stating that Job was a righteous fearful man of God and that he would not turn from him for any reason. Satan said that if everything was taken away from him, that he would curse God. God than told Satan that he could test Job, he just could not take his life. There have been times in my life that I have felt like Job, everything happening at once. I lost everything that mattered to me, I even lost sight of the Lord. This is when my life really slipped and I found out that rock bottom had a basement.
I, like all Christians have lost sight of God from time to time, and like Peter, I took my eyes off the Lord. What happened to Peter when he looked away from Jesus, he began to sink and that is exactly what happened to me just a few years ago? I was focused on all the wrong things, my school work, my kids, and trying to keep my marriage together. Are any of those three things I mention wrong? Absolutely not, what is missing from this list is God, not only is he not first, he is not even listed. What I should have been doing was letting God handle it all and then all I had to do was keep my focus upon him. “I keep my eyes always on the LORD, with him at my right hand, I will not be shaken,” Psalms 16:8 (NIV).
What is God telling us when afflictions arise? Trust him, he would made the seas knows how to calm the waves, Mark 4:39, “And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Peace! Be Still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm.” Psalms 89:8 mention God calming the seas, as well in the Old Testament. Are we less important than the birds, Jesus speaks of the birds in the air, “They neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them, are you not more valuable than they,” Matthew 6:26.
Keep in mind during troubled times, Psalms 25, teaches us to seek God in the hard times no matter the reasons we are in those hard times. “No matter how difficult your trials or what their cause, seek the Lord for his wisdom and trust Him to work for his glory and your good.”
What a difficult, humanly thing to do, but we are called as Christians to have faith, and not just faith, faith of a mustard seed. Just this little amount of faith can move mountains. “Jesus said unto them, “Because of your little faith For truly I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say this to this mountain ‘Move from here to there ‘ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you,” Matthew 17:20. Image what the world could be like if we could all just give it to God and have just that small amount of faith.
The biggest quest for me was finding my way back to God. When you are down as far as one can go there is nowhere but up to look. With each little prayer, I was able to take a step up the hole, and with each step I took I began to see a shimmer of light. The further I stepped the brighter and bigger the light. I am no doubtingly done being tested by God, and nor will I ever be until I join him in heaven, but I hope that with each test I do better as to follow his lead and not my own. We all know what happens when you follow your path, it often leads to a dead end and heartache that could have been avoided if only we would have listened.