Monday, February 15, 2010

Lessons from the dark

So, when we had our beautiful snowfall here in Dallas last week, one not-so-beautiful outcome was the wide-spread power outages. When they let us go early from The Company at 3:00 p.m. on Thursday (while it was still snowing), I headed home. On my way, I knew there would be trouble when the power companies were out shaking the power lines to get the snow off.

Sure enough, I wasn't horribly shocked that my apartment had no power. I called the peeps and they said around 5:00 p.m. it would be back on. No problem, I figured--a little over an hour--I'll just lay down and have a little rest.

5:00 came and went; 6:30 came and went; 7:45 came and went (you see where this is going) - and no power. No only was it dark, but it was pretty cold...I typically set the heater to come on between 63-65* the time that I got power back (sometime the middle of that night), it was probably 57* or so...pretty chilly, even for me. :)

I think the biggest think that struck me is that there's not much to do in the darkness. Of course I have emergency flashlights, but the batteries weren't charged (although the weather folks gave me plenty of notice, I just didn't think of it!) Me being the allegorical thinker I am, I realized that there were lots of spiritual lessons to be learned from the literal, physical darkness of that afternoon/evening last week.

1) There's not much of anything productive you can do in the darkness.

I John 1:5 - "This, in essence, is the message we heard from Christ and are passing on to you: God is light, pure light; there's not a trace of darkness in him." (TM)

2) It's impossible to see the obstacles in your path; you can easily run into things and hurt yourself.

John 8:12 - "Jesus once again addressed them: "I am the world's Light. No one who follows me stumbles around in the darkness. I provide plenty of light to live in."" (TM)

John 12:35 - "Jesus said, "For a brief time still, the light is among you. Walk by the light you have so darkness doesn't destroy you. If you walk in darkness, you don't know where you're going. As you have the light, believe in the light. Then the light will be within you, and shining through your lives. You'll be children of light."" (TM)

3) In the dark, you instantly feel out of touch and alone and sometimes even afraid.

Isaiah 9:2 - "The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light. For those who lived in a land of deep shadows— light! sunbursts of light! You repopulated the nation, you expanded its joy. Oh, they're so glad in your presence! Festival joy! The joy of a great celebration, sharing rich gifts and warm greetings." (TM)

Psalm 18:28 - "For You light my lamp;The LORD my God illumines my darkness." (NASB)

4) Spending any time in the dark makes you appreciate the light even more. Light after darkness is refreshing, relaxing and inviting.

John 1:3 - "Everything was created through him; nothing—not one thing!— came into being without him. What came into existence was Life, and the Life was Light to live by. The Life-Light blazed out of the darkness; the darkness couldn't put it out." (TM)

Psalm 112:4 - "Light arises in the darkness for the upright; He is gracious and compassionate and righteous. " (NASB)

Just as I didn't especially enjoy the darkness of my apartment, I don't (at all!) enjoy spiritual darkness. I realized - again - the importance of staying connected to The Light, so that I'm not out there stumbling on my own. There was an especially dark period in my life several years ago when I experienced great pain and hardship due to my own sinfulness...when I was actually choosing to live in spiritual darkness instead of living in the light of God's grace and forgiving love.

But through a redemption story of His amazing grace, The Light of the World drew me back to Himself, and I have been relying on His strength to continue to walk in His light ever since. Don't get me wrong - I have not "arrived" - I still stumble and still spend more time in the dark than I need to just due to my own choices and human, sinful nature. But just like physical light is more powerful than darkness, THE Light, our Almighty God, continues to overpower the dark tendencies of my wayward heart. I'm so thankful for His patient, merciful grace - and for the wonderful Light His Son shines on my heart!

1 comment:

  1. What a wonderful post! I can't figure out why my little profile pic changed!