The Darkness

Dark clouds frame the softball field; my daughter is preparing to play another game.  I remember yesterday, when the hot, bright sunshine made the world to seem to glitter.  Colors were brighter, and shapes were enhanced by contrasting shadows. 

At church, our pastor has been preaching out of 1 John.  1 John 1:5 says, “God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.”  Even though there is no darkness in God, there is God in the darkness.  Sometimes He’s hard to find, but that doesn’t mean He’s not there.  Like the sun in the thunderstorm, God still exists, obstructed from view by the storms and circumstances of life. 

When the darkness is within, seeping into our very souls, it may take a fight to find God.  For anyone else that battles depression, you know that anything can set off that downward spiral of hopelessness and helplessness.  You start to doubt that you are loved and created for a purpose- doubting the very character of God. 

It takes superhuman effort (and supernatural help) to fight the negative thoughts that creep into your head when you’re already down.  Even King David struggled, asking “why so downcast, oh my soul?”  Your focus has to be readjusted, as if donning a new pair of glasses, to see goodness, joy, and hope. 

Sometimes, however, darkness has a purpose.  Even our bodies are unable to create enough sleep hormone, melatonin, without the dark.  When the sun goes behind a cloud, even for a moment, a pall is cast on the world.  Our eyes adjust to the reduced light, colors dull, and everything seems softer and more subtle.  It’s time to relax, refresh, and rejuvenate.         

I read about something called “the dark night of the soul” in the book “Experiencing God” by Henry Blackaby.  From what I understand it is a darkness that comes not from being separated from God, but from allowing oneself to be separated from the things of the world in order to come closer to God.  It’s a spiritual purification, like iron being purified in fire.  The iron probably doesn’t like it much, but the process makes it stronger and more refined.  

Am I willing to experience the terror of the darkness, if I know that there is light on the other side?  Will I go if someone is there beside me who knows the way?  Do I believe I am able to make it all the way through, without giving up and giving in to the darkness? 

When darkness comes, I will seek the Light.

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