Monday, April 1, 2013

What Happens in the Dark

Darkness does something to us. It changes everything. And it evokes fear. When we can't see the unseen, we grab hold of anything and everything, grasping for assurance that there is some kind of stability in the unknown. I gained insight into "darkness" a few weeks ago, and I promise you, you're about to think differently about your trials (darkest hours) after reading this. 

A few weeks ago, my two teenage boys and I took a tour of a local cave. It was well lit and every corner held some kind of awe striking rock formation. But, as the tour guide led us continually, she stopped abruptly. We had come to an area of a cave where they offered a "lantern tour," and she wanted to give us an idea of what that might be like. So, she turned off all the lights in that cave. Darkness consumed us as our eyes were wide open. Literally, we could see NOTHING. And instantly, without us even thinking about the situation, we were overwhelmed with fear. We knew where we were, and we knew there was NOTHING to fear, but fear took over because our minds told us our eyes were wide open, yet we couldn't see a thing. I've never experienced utter darkness as I did in this moment.

What happened next, brought me to the depths of my faith and I'm not sure I'll never forget the moment. I grabbed hold of by two boys' jackets, so they would know I was "right there." Yet, my youngest son grabbed hold of my hand, my oldest doing the same. And they squeezed tightly. We KNEW we had a guide, but she was silent and we LONGED to hear her voice. We wanted to know she was still there . . . it was the only assurance we had while in the dark. The odd thing was, as I reflected on that moment in darkness, that if we would have just CLOSED our eyes, I'm certain we wouldn't have been as fearful. It was the fact that we were trying to see what we weren't able to see . . . we demanded that our eyes be open, and the fact that we couldn't see, somehow sent a message of fear raging throughout our souls. 

Here's the thing that got me: This happens to us in our faith. We walk through a time of darkness in life and we draw near to Him, LONGING to hear God's voice. But even when we can't see where we're going, we can hear His voice through His Word and KNOW that He is still there, to lead us out of the darkness and into the light. Just as my boys and I exhibited, the darkness caused us to draw near to one another, we tend to draw near to God, too, in the darkness of our lives. Isn't that good for us? We experienced overwhelming fear, but it demanded that we listen carefully to our guide's voice. Could it be that God uses our fear for His good purposes? And when the lights went back on, we felt relief that the darkness was but for a moment . . . which seemed to last FAR TOO LONG. The dark times of our lives feel the same way. They seem to last far too long, but in that darkness we draw near to God, our Guide, and we cling to His every Word so that He can lead us through the darkness. If only we'd close our eyes and trust in the unseen (God's power and His presence), not demanding that God show us tomorrow's grace. We must trust Him in the dark and know that He is there, He doesn't move, but brings us to a place of understanding that there is NOTHING to fear . . . He is with us always. 

We draw near to God, we long for His voice, and our entire soul is focused upon Him . . . 
that's what happens in the dark. 


Kendra said...

Oh thanks for sharing. You are so right! I could never have gone in. Too afraid! Love you! Kendra
this helps so much!

Cherie Hill said...

Kendra, always praying for you sister!

Connie Arnold said...

That's a great comparison, Cherie, very insightful! Thanks for sharing and blessings to you!

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I am so blessed that you would take the time to share your thoughts with me! You encourage my faith and I pray that God will fill you to the full with His love, mercy,and grace! With joy, Cherie

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