THE PROMISE OF DARK PLACES
Okay, I don’t even know where to begin with this post. In the midst of what has been one of the most emotionally draining weeks, I just read something that literally made my heart stop. Have you ever had one of those moments? One of those moments where you feel exhausted, overwhelmed, and you are given a word of encouragement that you weren’t even looking for? A sentiment so sweet that for the first time in a long time, you finally feel your heart relax, your body take a breath, and this unexplainable peace hits you like a freight train…and it is exactly what you were needing? Yep, I just had one of those moments. I was actually reading the announcements that my professor posted for class this week (#gradschool) and at the end of his post, he included this….
Beloved, never try to get out of a dark place, except in God’s timing and in His way. A time of trouble and darkness is meant to teach you lessons you desperately need. Premature deliverance may circumvent God’s work of grace in your life. Commit the entire situation to Him, and be willing to abide in darkness knowing He is present. (From Streams in the Desert…)
Woah. Did you get that? Talk about some serious truth. For those of you who don’t know, my family was recently hit with a pretty big cancer diagnosis. Needless to say, this week has been full of bad news, better news, worse news, tears, stress, fear, and then today. This moment. This instant moment of divine intervention where The Lord clearly gave me a message that my family needed to hear. It is times like this where I am re-centered, and reminded that when the enemy tries to use the circumstances of this world to overtake us, Jesus overcomes all of our emotions with grace and consistency that we can trust. Maybe for some of you it isn’t cancer. Maybe it’s a financial struggle that you can’t seem to get out of. Maybe it’s a marriage that is falling apart and you can’t even begin to imagine how it could be salvaged. Maybe it’s something that you can’t even put your finger on, but for some reason you are overwhelmed with feelings of depression and just can’t get out of this funk. (And if you are in a season where you’re not in a valley, read that quote above very carefully and keep it near to your heart! We operate in peaks and valleys, so I can promise you that one day, you will need those words.)
Wherever you find yourself today, I hope that this little excerpt my professor shared with me will resonate with you. I pray that you and I both would remember that there is a purpose to every season. Just as a gardener prunes his flowers, The Lord prunes us. He grows us through these dark days and moments of uncertainty. No trial is wasted, no tear goes unnoticed, and no circumstance can defeat our spirit if we cling to Jesus. He is walking behind us to support our back, holding our hand, walking down this road right beside us, and shining a light to guide our steps as He is waiting for us up ahead. My heart may be troubled, but my spirit is not crushed because of this beautiful, beautiful promise. Jesus….wow. Just, wow.