It's important to be bold enough to enter your darkness, but you must also remember that personal darkness is never an excuse to stop being a light.
It's hard. When darkness hits, we feel vulnerable. We feel weak. We feel broken. We feel worthless, like we have nothing to offer this world. Not even God because, if God were anything like we say He is, we wouldn't be so broken. Life wouldn't be so dark. So we pull back and wait to gather our composure before we dare step back out in the world.
Let me ask you this: where's the truth in this story?
The truth in this story, as we tell it, is that our God is only in it for the good things. The truth is that what we say and what we do don't match up. The truth is that we can be broken beyond repair, that God will turn His back, that we are useless. That we are worthless.
It may feel that way in the darkness, but that's never the truth of your life. Not if you know God. The challenge for any Christian in the dark is to remember that the tough times are fact, but they are simply fact. And no fact has the right to stand in the way of Truth.
It sounds nice and simple, but it's hardly either. It's grueling and incredibly difficult. It's a delicate interplay that I don't always get right, although my percentages are going up.
Think about some of the Bible characters we know and love. David, for instance. David was a brilliant king, a great leader, and a successful warrior. And you know what? I don't much care. I can honestly tell you that until this very moment, I haven't thought about David's power or conquests. His successes don't make a difference for me. But I love his psalms. I love the way he writes in his vulnerable moments. I love the way he pours out his heart to God, a heart that today, too many of us would say wasn't worthy to approach the throne. David rushes into the throne room and pours himself out with such rawness. Even in his darkest moments.
Because he sees beyond his facts to the truth. He remembers the light in his darkness.
Jesus is another example. When we talk about Jesus, we go straight to His darkness and then work our way back. We go to the Garden, in a prayer of such agony that His sweat fell like blood. We go to the courtyard, where He stands silent before His accusers. We go to the Cross. We go to the tomb. In all of these places, we find not a defeated Jesus but a victorious One. A man speaking tender words to the thief hanging next to Him, the soldier at His feet, the betrayer with a kiss.
Because He, too, sees beyond His facts to the truth. He remembers the light in His darkness.
I don't think most of us realize the powerful truth we have to speak in our darkness. I don't think we realize the light we bring when we choose truth over facts. I don't think we realize the sacrifice we make when we confuse the two.
Mine is a story that has a good measure of darkness in it. Yours probably is, too. As I continue to grow in the light and the love of the Lord, I realize how many wasted hours, how many wasted days, how many wasted years I spent telling the darkness like it was my story. It was only half-truth. Fact, sure, but who has time for such things?
The challenge for any man is to face his facts and tell his Truth. Easier said than done, but it has to be this way. For life, Truth, even spirit rest on this simple, but profound, truth:
Man's story is often found in the darkness, but it is always told in the light.
What story are you telling today?
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