Exactly three years ago this weekend, the darkness was falling fast into my life. I was headed into a darkness that I had never experienced before or even realized existed. I showed up at the Georgia home of my parents, per my dad’s request to come help out with mom. Mom’s depression was beginning to reach a deep low. Dad was at a loss and needed reinforcement, rest, and encouragement. Mom needed love, care, and gentleness. We all needed God’s grace.
That weekend was one of the hardest ones in my life as I came face to face with the ugliness and reality of the darkness in my mom’s life. I was totally helpless to “fix” her downward spiral. I knew she was sick but had no idea of the depths of it. I remember weeping as I watched her tremble and struggle with the deep anxieties in her body and soul. I begged for God to show up. And He did. He always does.
On Friday night, we took my mom out to dinner at a local steakhouse. As we were riding, my brother suggested we listen to a sermon by Louie Giglio. Louie began to share his own personal struggle of a nervous breakdown. His words were full of hope and encouragement in the transparency of his own personal darkness. My ears listened as my heart earnestly prayed that God would lift the darkness in my mom’s life. And that He would calm my own fearful and anxious heart.
Fast forward to now. . . three years later. In God’s sovereignty, God chose not to heal my mom the way I had prayed for. He healed her in an even better way. He completely and forever lifted her darkness.
She walks on streets of gold now. She sits at the feet of my sweet Father. She sings in the chorus of God’s saints as they worship our Creator. She is free of all pain and suffering.
God’s ways are not like ours. His thoughts are far above and beyond my understanding. His purposes don’t make sense to my feeble mind. But He is totally trustworthy. Of that, I am sure!
When Mom died, I was thrown into a pit of darkness that I couldn’t get myself out of. I didn’t choose to enter the darkness. It came to me. No one willingly enters the darkness. At least I don’t think so.
Many of my dear friends have recently entered a season of darkness. Perhaps it has come through a diagnosis, a death, a divorce, an estranged friendship, or the choice of another person. It’s unbelievably hard to walk in the dark. It’s difficult to breathe day and night when facing the dark. It can appear totally hopeless and oh so bleak!
But there is always a sliver of light in our darkness when we have Christ! The devil wants to lie to our hearts and convince us that the light will never shine again. But God’s Word tells us the truth- that He never leaves us or forsakes us. He loves us with an everlasting love. He is always working for our good. His love for us is deeper, wider, and greater than our minds can fathom. Light always overcomes darkness. . . every. single. time. Many times that looks different to us than we can understand or explain. It calls for a deeper trust in Him than is possible in our own human strength. Our darkness leads us into a deeper knowing of Him.
A few weeks ago, I listened to the recent sermon series by Louie Giglio titled “The Comeback.” In the message “When Darkness Falls”, he shares in more detail and with more passion his comeback from a nervous breakdown—a very dark time in his own personal life. My mind went back to the time three years ago when God first planted a similar sermon of encouragement into my own life. Even then, God was sovereignly working His plan within my heart to give me hope and truth. He intended to take me deeper into the darkness so that my fearful and anxious heart would learn to trust deeply in the glorious Light of the World.
For a long time, I wondered if the light would ever truly return into my broken heart and troubled soul. But three years later, I can truly say that God’s light never left me. Even in my greatest darkness, He was shining because He is Light! Nothing that comes against us can extinguish His light. I love the verses of John 1 that point my heart to this truth. “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (John 1:5)
Many times we may barely see the light among the shadows. But as we keep walking, the Light breaks through and begins to color our world once again.
So, how do we keep walking in the light when we feel that all is dark around us?
How do we worship rather than worry?
Where is the hope that Light will shine once again into our broken lives?
The answer is simply JESUS. He is Light!
Cry out to Him. Beg Him to reveal His Light in the smallest of ways. Read His truth- the Word of God. And if you simply can’t see to read His Word, listen to it.
Rest in the promise that He is always enough and His grace is sufficient. Preach His truth to your heart constantly.
Listen daily for His whispers of grace. Look at Creation for His beauty. Lean deep into His love.
And do these things over and over and over again.
It’s been almost three years for me since my life changed drastically. That day the darkness invaded and began to cast shadows into every fiber of my life.
And I haven’t been able to stop running to Jesus yet. I never will.
I’m daily crying out to Him. I’m daily digging into His truth to overcome the lies that Satan continuously throws my way. I’m daily choosing to rest in His promises of hope! I’m daily preaching Truth to my weak and fearful heart.
But the Light is overcoming my darkness in huge ways! His light is shining more brightly in my soul than I ever dreamed possible. Even when my external circumstances are dark, there is a new hope in my soul. In my darkness, I have found His Word to be completely true- “The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”
Dear friend, whatever darkness has fallen upon you, remember His light will always overcome. He is with you in your darkness. He is loving you in the dark. He is working in the dark. He is patient and kind as you struggle in the darkness. He is for you. Never against you.
I encourage you to listen to “The Comeback” series by Louie Giglio.
These sermons and truths from God’s Word are highly encouraging! I especially love this sermon.
May your heart be encouraged today. May His light shine brightly in your darkness. May His rest be yours.
Keep walking in the Light!