As this winter has dragged on from cold (starting in early December) to snow and more snow and than ice and now back to bitter cold, I am reminded how many times in our spiritual journeys we go through periods of darkness that seem like they will never end. Seasons of darkness are times when we go through some dark trouble and it seems God is not there. They arise at times suddenly, even when it appears that we are right in the center of God’s will. We can be serving God just as Job was and suddenly without explanation everything that we held precious is taken from us. We are left in the darkness and we cry out with the words of the Psalmist David from Ps. 13 “How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me?” (v . 1-2, NIV).
The tendency when we are seemingly trapped in the darkness is to create our own fires and to take matters into our own hands. There is a very interesting warning regarding this type of response found in Isaiah 50:10-11.
There are times in this pilgrimage when we need to trust in Him and wait upon Him even if we don’t understand what He is doing or how He is going to work out our circumstances and difficulties. According to Isaiah when we take matters into our own hands we create even more problems and issues. Lord, help us to wait upon you in the darkness and the winters of our lives.
Jesus adds an interesting note to this thought. In the 10th chapter of Matthew’s gospel he says “What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs”, v.22. Some of life’s most previous truths are found in the darkness when Jesus whispered into our pain and sadness. But as we go through the darkness and the long winters of our lives, let us be assured that Jesus promised never to leave us or forsake us in the midst of our struggles.
So as this winter drags on, let us remember that each day that passes is one closer to spring. Whatever darkness you may be experiencing, know that after the storm comes the rainbow, the visible symbol of God’s presence with us.
Pastor Rich Sivo