God’s light is eternal, so what darkness could you possibly face that he couldn’t overcome?
When you are surrounded by darkness, a way out feels impossible. It’s hard to see truth when all you see is doubt. So how then do you rediscover light in the midst of struggle? There are a couple things I’ve learned to do when the darkness in my life feels overwhelming.
1. Searching: First I look to discover what truth is said about darkness and its opposite. I turn to the Word of God. What does he say about darkness and how to overcome it? First I remember that “God is light, and in him there is no darkness” (1 John 1:5). Also he says, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome” (John 16:33). So when I take both of these things into account, I can believe that when I turn my eyes to the Father and rest in him, then my troubles and darkness are overcome by his eternal love. My darkness fades in his light.
Furthermore, in him there is no darkness at all! So I can rejoice because the troubles and darkness that seem so overwhelming are nothing compared to him. For if God is light, and there is no darkness in him, then what should I fear? Is my darkness too big for God’s light? I like to think in pictures—I am a storyteller, after all—so imagine a dark room with me. Pitch black, no windows. No skylights. Just darkness. Now imagine walking into that room with a lit match. Would the darkness in that room extinguish your match? Of course not. Now, the match wouldn’t light the whole room, but it would allow you to see your fingers. What would happen if you made the small match bigger: a flashlight, a lantern? The darkness would retract further and further as the light grew.
God’s light is eternal, so what darkness could you possibly face that he couldn’t overcome? Light always drowns out darkness, and his light is grander and stronger than any you could imagine.
2. Practicing: Having searched for the truth and the things the Father has said about darkness, I then begin to put them into practice. What I mean by that is I meditate on them when the darkness comes. When the light seems lost and I feel hopeless, I return to what I have learned. This has become a daily practice for me. A moment of reflection even once a day can affect the way I see darkness and how I handle it when it comes. For Jesus said, “But the one practicing the truth comes to the light” (John 3:21). The more I practice the truth, the more easily seeing through the darkness becomes.
3. Remembering: After meditating on the truth, I practice remembering that truth throughout the troubles of life that come. Life is a journey of remembering and forgetting. We all forget. We all get caught up in our daily lives and forget that this world does not define us. So when I forget, I pause and remember the truths so I can return to peace. Again I ask, if God is light, and in him there is no darkness, then what should I fear? What darkness could be too much for his light to overcome? The answer: nothing. When I remember that, the darkness I see in my life fades to shadows. In this place of remembrance, I am full of great courage. Courage to walk through my fear and find his light is always faithful and sure.
4. Seeing: When I return to truth and start to remember who I am, I begin to see clearly. And this clear sight affects not only the way I see my own trouble and darkness, but also how I see the world around me: my brothers and sisters who are lost in blindness because they haven’t yet seen the light of Christ, or those who have just forgotten. For the promises God gives me, he offers to all who turn their eyes to him. Colossians 3:11 ends with this beautiful truth about the body of Christ: “Christ is all, and is in all.”
5. Loving: As my perception changes and I start to see myself and others in God’s light, I find my only response is love. Love shown to myself and others. When I am truly seeing with the eyes of Christ, when I am truly resting in his perfect light, it is impossible to condemn myself. Or others. So my only option then becomes love. A love that comes from the Father, and a love he calls us to have for one another.
So when troubles come, and they will; when darkness feels overwhelming, and it will, trust the teachings of Jesus, meditate on them daily, remember the promise given, see the light of Christ, and then give yourself and others love, as he has loved you.
When Through Deep Waters by Rachelle Dekker
Alicen McCaffrey finally has the life her mother always dreamed for her: beautiful home in Santa Monica, successful husband, adorable daughter. Then tragedy blows her carefully assembled façade to pieces. Worse yet—Alicen feels solely responsible. At rock bottom, she decides to accompany a childhood friend back to Red Lodge, Montana, where they spent summers together as kids.
The peaceful mountain landscape, accented with lush forests and small-town charm, brings back happy memories of time spent with her beloved, eccentric Grandma Josephine. Alicen begins to hope that perhaps things could be different here. Perhaps the oppressive guilt will lift—if only for a moment.
But when Alicen starts hearing voices and seeing mysterious figures near the river in the woods, she begins to fear she’s completely lost her sanity, as it’s rumored her grandmother did. Or might there be more to Red Lodge than meets the eye? Could the voices and visions be real—and her only means of finding the healing she so desperately needs? Or will they prove to be her final undoing?