For this week’s Monday Minute, Claudia shares how God has been teaching her to flourish in faith despite the darkness that so often creeps into our lives during this season of celebration.
Flourish in Faith Despite the Darkness
by Claudia Duff
Sometimes it feels like the darkness settles upon us and there will never be a light strong enough to penetrate the darkness and bring us some relief. But that is just what it feels like.
In this season of thanksgiving and celebration, some of us may find it hard to do so because of the darkness. I confess I struggle every year during this time. I love the holiday season, a perpetual time of celebrating all that is right and good in this world.
But, what about when the season is wrapped in a sadness that doesn’t lift? What about when the darkness is all that we can see? What do you do with all of that? You surrender the darkness to the One who created it, God. In other words, you put some Word on that.
“And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness.” (Genesis 1:4 ESV)
I don’t do well in darkness unless I am sleeping. Every morning I wake up and open all the blinds and curtains to let the light in. I love to flood my house with the sunlight. This carries over into my heart and soul. When darkness settles upon my heart it unsettles my soul. It brings a weightiness that stuns me into silence and stillness. Trust me, I don’t do well in the darkness.
Until I remember who my God is.
“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”
(John 1:5 ESV)
I am still sorting my feelings in regard to the losses that have taken place this year in our family and I am sure I am not alone in this. We have all heard this expression, “don’t fret there is a light at the end of every tunnel.” Yes, there is, but I can’t help wondering, “What if the light is a train?” I sometimes feel like the light I see is not actually going to save me but rather it will destroy me.
When I feel myself drifting to that place of sadness and darkness, I remember this verse and I fight my way to faith.
Okay is Not Good Enough
I get it. We all live this life the best way we can. Doing what we can to just be okay. But, is that really what the Lord went to the cross for? For us to be okay and live as best as we can? Nope. Not even a little bit.
“And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split.” (Matthew 27:51 ESV)
The Lord went to the cross to save us. To move us beyond the veil and into his presence. The cross made us whole and we are meant to be more than okay, because we are redeemed. We need perpetual redemption. Not because the blood of Christ is not enough, but rather this life is too much and we keep forgetting.
”Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears us up; God is our salvation. Selah”
(Psalm 68:19 ESV)
I am constantly forgetting just how powerful my salvation is. But these are the three things I constantly remind myself of when the darkness closes in on me.
Three things to remember to fight the darkness around us.
- God is working in my life even when I can’t see it.
“Then Elisha prayed and said, “O Lord, please open his eyes that he may see.” So, the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw, and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.” (2 Kings 6:17 ESV)
- No matter what happens, God will make it bless me.
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28 ESV)
- Eternal life is a real thing.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16 ESV)
Write it Down
Whenever I want to remember something, I write it down. If I don’t, I most likely will never remember it. Which is how I ran out of salt in my pantry. Who even does that? Here is a brief example of my morning devotional time.
I say my morning prayers before I even sit up in bed because I need Jesus before I start trying to speak to the people in my home.
I grab my devotional, Bible, and journal. First, I read my portion for the day and then I write little notes to myself in the margins and underline important words or phrases that speak to me. And finally, I put a particular verse in brackets and that’s the one I transfer into my Scripture journal.
My journal for this year has become a record of scriptures the Holy Spirit has used again and again to speak to me. Some days they were words of comfort. On other days there was some conviction in those words. But, mostly and always they spoke love to my heart. I encourage you to spend time in God’s Word every single day. Even if it is just one Scripture, read it and write it down.
My prayer for each of you during this holiday season is for Jesus to be made front and center. That you will flourish in faith despite the darkness as you command the light to be present. You can do that. You can speak to your darkness using the Word of God and bring light into those dark places.
Lord, be front and center during this holiday season. Please make my faith flourish during any time of darkness because of your light. May your light be present every moment of the day. Lord, be with me every day in every darkness. Amen.
If you would like us to pray specifically for your needs this season, please visit our Planting Root Prayer Requests Page.