Walking in the Dark!
We are currently living in unparalleled times. We have never seen anything that can remotely compare to the trials and difficulties that we are facing currently as a nation and in the world. As followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, the question arises as to how we are to respond in times of deep perplexity and confusion that define our current day? During times of great darkness, I believe we who call ourselves followers of Christ are to be faithful, believing disciples who are seeking to be obedient to the will of God and looking for opportunities to serve the Lord Jesus in the midst of our brokenness. One of the passages that I used many times in my counseling experience over many years dealing with people who are dealing with great brokenness and darkness in their lives is found in Isaiah 50. The prophet writes, “Who among you fears the Lord and obeys the word of his servant? Let him who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of the Lord and rely on his God. But now, all you who light fires and provide yourselves with flaming torches, go, walk in the light of your fires and of the torches you have set ablaze. This is what you shall receive from my hand; you will lie down in torment,” (Isa.50:10-11 NIV). The first thing that we should do when we’re going through a dark valley is to do nothing and just wait upon the Lord. We have been called at this point to do nothing but stay home. So, this should give us a great deal of time to reflect on what God wants to speak into our hearts, lives, and priorities. When we find ourselves going through a dense spiritual fog many times we want to run ahead and take my matters into our own hands. But this passage demonstrates that such action is really a great mistake.
The right thing to do is to simply trust in our living God and allow Him to work out all the details. Worrying prevents God from doing anything for us and if we start our own fires and go in our own direction we are moving away from where God wants us to be. Way back in the late 70s Deb and I went to a Grateful Dead concert where there was somewhere around ½ million people. We left the before the concert had ended so we could beat the rush, but when we left Deb and I disagreed on the direction where the car was parked. Deb was very annoying, insisting that the car was in one direction and I thought it was in the other direction. Finally, to shut her up I said, “I’ll run ahead and get the car and come back and pick you up”. But it didn’t matter how fast I ran or how far I ran because I was running in the wrong direction. That is what it’s like when we light our own fires and provide for ourselves flaming torches because we couldn’t wait for God’s Spirit to move and work. In the darkness we must place our hand in Jesus’ hand as a little child and allow him to lead us into the bright sunshine of His love.
In critical times such as this, we need to remember Jesus’ words in John 10 regarding His sheep that follow Him. Jesus states, “I give them eternal life, they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand,” (John 10:28,29 NIV). Not only is Jesus telling us here that we are secure in His hand, but His hand is inside of His heavenly Father’s hand. If you are a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ, you are in a pretty safe position regardless of what may be happening all around us. So, it’s critical at this time to let the peace of God guide our minds and hearts and rest in His ability to move and work. Even as we walk through the darkness as a church family let us know that God knows the shortest and most reliable road for us to take. He is our Pilot – let us turn over the steering wheel to him. I conclude with this poem from an unknown author who wrote –
“Hold on, my heart, in your believing – Only the steadfast wins the crown; He who, when stormy winds are heaving, Parts with his anchor, will go down; But he who Jesus holds through all, Will stand, though heaven and earth should fall. Hold on! An end will come to sorrow; Hope from the dust will conquering rise; The storm foretells a Summer’s morrow; The cross points on to paradise; The Father reigns! So, cease all doubt. Hold on, my heart. Hold on, hold out.
Resting in our Savior’s strong hands,
Pastor Rich Sivo