"While he lived on earth, anticipating death, Jesus cried out in pain and wept in sorrow as he offered up priestly prayers to God. Because he honored God, God answered him. Though he was God’s Son, he learned trusting-obedience by what he suffered, just as we do."
~ Hebrews 5:7-8 The Message
When I was a little girl I was afraid of the dark.(Truth be known...I was afraid of the dark long into my adult life too!) Sooo, growing up, I would make sure my bedroom door was cracked open so that the light coming from down the hallway could peak in and allow me to “see” in the dark. As I got older and lived on my own I continued this habit by leaving a light on outside my darken bedroom. After I was married I felt “safer” in the dark....but discovered that a bedside clock gave off just enough light to dispel the darkness without disturbing my husband’s preference for sleeping in a darkened room.
Strangely...my fear of the dark did not return when my husband died. Instead of feeling frightened and anxious of the dark...the utter blackness now beckoned and invited me to come live in it.
I never knew what “living in” real darkness was until Brad's death threw me deeper into it's depths. I never imagined I’d want to run into it’s bleakness...but that is what I blindly rushed towards in trying to hide from the light of my crushed spirit and all my broken dreams.
It was soon after I had exhausted myself from my attempt to escape the light that glared into my overwhelming sorrow and grief that I discovered I had sat down in a place that seemed too deep and far away from any source of light to help lead me out. I had little strength left and my faith to climb out of it’s dark cold grip was just as weak. I thought I was alone with only darkness to cover me...
It was in this darkest time, when my world had gone black and I could not find my way...that I heard the Lord call my name. As I reached out to The Lord weeping expressing all my pain...I prayed...asking for Him to deliver me from one more breath of grief...one more heartbeat of sorrow. I asked Him to take away the circumstances I was in and change the course of my future as I saw it...for to me...my life had no redeeming purpose anymore.
"While he lived on earth, anticipating death, Jesus cried out in pain and wept in sorrow...”
Do you have any idea what it means to me to know that Jesus understands my darkest thoughts and my heavy burden of sorrow? When Jesus prayed the night before his crucifixion in the Garden at the Mount of Olives...the Bible tells me that His tears were falling from the pain of sorrow He was feeling.
Now, I’m not suggesting that my dark hours should be held next to Jesus’ sacrifice. But I do believe I can take from His dark hours in that garden...that God’s mercy delivered an angel full of light to stand watch over His Son and comfort Him as He prepared to do His Father’s Will. Darkness cannot hide it’s menacing dissuasion from the light of God!
In my days of great sorrow Jesus did the same for me. He was faithful to break the dark and shine His light so I could "see" He was with me. His presence comforted me and His promises gave me the courage to look at Him and listen for His voice to trust Him to lead me (and stay with me) into the spacious place He had already prepared for me to go.
Unlike Jesus that night in the Garden...I often took my eyes away from God and back on the darkness that threatened to consume me...But Jesus would not let go of me...even when I let go of Him. His light could not be dimmed by my lack of faith...for He is always faithful to His own. He refused to allow the darkness to hide me (even when it was my prayer that it would) and He always reached out for me and lifted me up into His saving arms of mercy until I was strong enough to take the next step with Him beside me.
...When I discerned God's light shining into my darkness...I don't recall those moments bringing "happiness" back into my life. What it did bring was relief from my fears and calmness to my anxious thoughts. The steady Light of Christ renewed my hope which lifted my spirit from total despair allowing His joy in me to become my joy in Him.
God is patient and His love never fails...even in the dark!
Lord, you have examined me
and know all about me.
2 You know when I sit down and when I get up.
You know my thoughts before I think them.
3 You know where I go and where I lie down.
You know everything I do.
4 Lord, even before I say a word,
you already know it.
5 You are all around me—in front and in back—
and have put your hand on me.
6 Your knowledge is amazing to me;
it is more than I can understand.
7 Where can I go to get away from your Spirit?
Where can I run from you?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there.
If I lie down in the grave, you are there.
9 If I rise with the sun in the east
and settle in the west beyond the sea,
10 even there you would guide me.
With your right hand you would hold me.
11 I could say, “The darkness will hide me.
Let the light around me turn into night.”
12 But even the darkness is not dark to you.
The night is as light as the day;
darkness and light are the same to you.
13 You made my whole being;
you formed me in my mother’s body.
14 I praise you because you made me in an amazing and wonderful way.
What you have done is wonderful.
I know this very well.
15 You saw my bones being formed
as I took shape in my mother’s body.
When I was put together there,
16 you saw my body as it was formed.
All the days planned for me
were written in your book
before I was one day old.
17 God, your thoughts are precious to me.
They are so many!
18 If I could count them,
they would be more than all the grains of sand.
When I wake up,
I am still with you.