“When darkness overtakes the godly, light will come bursting in. They are generous, compassionate, and righteous (Psalm 124:4).”
Today is an absolutely gorgeous late autumn here in Virginia where I live. My schedule this morning allowed me to take my walk through the pastures of the local university–a walk I treasure.
It occurred to me as I closed in on the well-known pond on campus,”What a difference a year makes.” Last year at this time I was living in a Nordic country where the daylight comes late and goes away early
As I walked I recalled the emotions of that late November. I was definitely depressed. I was apart from my family (I hadn’t seen them in almost three months), and the sun was a thing of the past. Not only did its light only appear a few hour a day, but there was some much overcast that I rarely saw the object itself.
Yet, today there was a bright sun ball in the blue sky. I was surrounded by greenery and water. It was like I had gone from hell to heaven in the space of 12 months.
A passage from the devotional Streams in the Desert describes well my emotional state one year ago:
“All-loving Father, sometimes we have walked under starless skies that dripped darkness like drenching rain. We despaired of starshine or moonlight or sunrise. The sullen blackness gloomed above us as if it would last forever. And out of the dark there spoke no soothing voice to mend our broken hearts. We would gladly have welcomed some wild thunder peal to break the torturing stillness of that overbrooding night.
Yet, something came out of that period. It drove me to my knees.
When I wasn’t working, I had time to spend with the Lord. And I did a lot of that, especially on Sundays.
Streams in the Desert, in the same passage, goes on to portray what happened to me as well as this author:
“But Thy winsome whisper of eternal love spoke more sweetly to our bruised and bleeding souls than any winds that breathe across Aeolian harps. It was Thy ‘still small voice’ that spoke to us. We were listening and we heard. We looked and saw Thy face radiant with the light of love. And when we heard Thy voice and saw Thy face, new life came back to us as life comes back to withered blooms that drink the summer rain.”
Somehow in my loneliness and darkness my relationship with God grew to be the best it had ever been. It was just me, the Lord and the black.
One of my friends recently told me that he thought of me as Job’s second cousin. I have been thinking of that comment ever since.
In one way I think of it as an honor to be mentioned in the same breath as a man like Job. On the other hand, I have thought that my life and that of Job differ in one respect.
His plight eventually came to an end. God restored his fortunes. My difficulties go on and on, with no end in sight.
My pastor told me a couple of months ago,”You’re just in a season of life right now.” The inference was that “this too shall pass”. I looked at him with an expression of,”I don’t know about that.”
Sometimes I see light at the end of the tunnel. For example, I am so boxed in that I pretty much have to use my one talent to get by.
As a result, I think that perhaps God has enclosed me so as to force me into using my gifts. Otherwise, my attitude would be,”I can’t do that. I must do this.”
Now, it appears He has placed me in such a condition that He is telling me,”No. You must do this. You must listen to me (finally!) and do what I called you to do a long time ago. You just need to trust Me and the promises I have given you.”
That is astounding to me, that God would think that much of me to actually set me on a path to my dreams being fulfilled, especially this late in the game. The jury is still out on whether or not that is what is happening, but I’m listening–and watching for the light to reappear!