When the curtain of darkness surrounds you, almost swallows you whole, where do you go? What do you do?
I find myself there more times than I care to admit. The smothering sensation that will leave me gasping for breath and wishing for the day to end falls. It falls heavily and quickly, and the strength needed to escape doesn’t come as easily as I would wish. But in those moments, I have two choices: I can fade into the background and allow the darkness to consume me or I can extend my hand and reach out for the One who is wanting mine.
Darkness is a funny thing. It can be scary and comforting all at the same time.
Darkness can usher in fear through the unknown. Leave us questioning what we’ll find lurking around the corner. Too scared to look under the bed? Me too. The unknown is a cold and lonely place.
But that same darkness can also bring a sense of comfort as we choose to bunker down and wallow in our doubts and fears. Choosing to stay resolute in a posture of defeat. Oftentimes that feels easier. But it’s not. Because the longer we stay there, in that darkness, the longer it will take to find a way out.
The battle out is hard. Fighting takes a lot of strength, courage, and stamina. But I’ve learned that we don’t fight alone. We haven’t been left alone to fight these battles. Jesus came, He conquered, and He won the victory. But victory doesn’t mean that there won’t be pain or disappointment. We have to weather through the hard in order to reach the victory.
You can be certain that the enemy is watching and waiting to pounce. Looking to destroy and add to the darkness. You have to be prepared for the frustration when the disappointments abound. Aware of the anger that grows when it feels like God isn’t hearing your prayers or doing something to remedy the pain. Because it happens. We question His goodness. We question His presence. Sometimes we even find ourselves sitting in the middle of the bathroom floor crying out to Him in anger because we’re tired. Tired of feeling ignored. And when we’re feeling hurt or disappointed it’s easy to lose sight of Him. In the middle of the chaos and pain, it’s easy to miss the sound of His voice. And we can get even more lost in the darkness.
But He’s there and He’s listening. He’s fully aware of what is happening and why. And if we’re paying attention and listening, He makes His presence known. Whether it’s through a friend or a book or a passage of scripture. In that moment, He finds us where we are, and He speaks exactly what our hearts need to hear but we must be listening. Willing to hear what’s not always easy to hear.
So we must be still. If we want the victory, we must be still and listen to His voice.
The enemy wants that victory. But if we just hold on and fight then we begin to see the rewards that come from being faithful to that which we believe. We begin to experience the victory that Jesus says we have. When we wage war in the valley, we eventually hit those mountain tops where God reveals His splendor and faithfulness in ways that take our breath away.
So we mustn’t give up! Giving up will just leave us empty and searching for something else to fill the emptiness. Instead, we must fight because fighting ignites a fire within us that allows us to see a bigger purpose for ourselves, and for all that God is doing in our lives. It allows God to shine through us. It offers people hope where they will find encouragement through our struggle and in our stories. Our battle can help others find victory and strength in their darkness. So don’t be afraid of the battle. And most importantly…. don’t be afraid of your story! Use to inspire others to continue fighting! Because it’s worth it! Because victory is just around the corner!
“But take heart; I have overcome the world.”