Light in the Darkness
"You light a lamp for me. The Lord, my God, lights up my darkness." Psalm 18:28 (NLT)
Song of the Week:
Darkness. If you haven't been there, you will one day. No one makes it through this life without at least a little bit of darkness. That being said, what is the purpose of this "darkness?" If we are so unbelievably and undeniably loved by the Creator of the Universe, why is it that He fails to save us from struggle? Why does Jesus, the One who loves beyond comprehension, allow us to suffer through periods of intense darkness all throughout our lives?
On Thursday, I was speaking with one of my Theology professors here at Notre Dame. I asked her these same questions: "If God is so loving, why does He allow His children to suffer?" My professor's response was interesting: "It's easy to ask why a good God would allow bad things to happen to His people, but the real question we must ask ourselves is why God would allow good to happen in the first place." The truth is that we do not deserve God's grace. Do not ask Jesus, Why do you allow bad things to happen in my life? Instead ask, Why are you so good to me? What have I done - little, imperfect me - to deserve Your love?
I truly mean it when I say that there is nothing better on this planet than the love of Christ. I know in my heart without a doubt that Jesus is real - He is active, He is alive, He is living in our hearts. With this in mind, I am starting to realize just how good He is, and how I am so undeserving of His goodness. Psalm 8:4 reminds us of just how crazy it is that our great God loves sinful people like us - "What are mere mortals that You should think about them, human beings that You should care for them?" And yet Romans 3:10-11 says, "No one is righteous, not even one. No one is truly wise; no one is seeking God," and Romans 3:23 says, "For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God's glorious standard." In the midst of our constant sin, Jesus is still mindful of us. In the midst of our shortcomings, He loves, He forgives, He renews.
Yes, there is sin in this world. Yes, there is so much suffering in our day to day lives. But you know what else there is? There is a God, waiting - just waiting - to light up your life. There is a God who might allow you to walk through darkness, but only for a short while, so that He may be the One to rescue you and bring light to your life once again. I speak from experience when I say that, ultimately, darkness can only bring you closer to the Lord. You just have to let it. Let the darkness in your life be your reason for clinging to Christ. Let the darkness encourage you to run to His open arms.
When I look back on the course of my life, I wouldn't change a thing. I am unbelievably grateful for my struggles, for they have brought me closer to Christ than I ever thought possible. It is because of these rough patches, these times of intense darkness, that I am the growing (yet far from perfect) Christian that I am today.
My prayer for you today is that you may begin to see your struggles differently. When you think about your sufferings, don't let them pull you away from Christ - let them be your reason for clinging even more to His grace and His great love. I hope that you may begin to see your past differently, focusing less on the darkness and more on the light Jesus has brought/will bring to your life. Trust me, He is just waiting to light up your life. Let His light reign in your hearts today.
Song of the Week:
Fill me with Your light, Lord.