Darkness...the darkness of sin enveloped the earth when Adam and Eve disobeyed God. Yet, even on that dark day, as God expelled them from the Garden of Eden and banished them to a life of blood, sweat and tears, He had a plan for salvation. Later He would make His people a promise...a promise of salvation...He gave them Hope!
Darkness...David descended into darkness when he sinned against God, but God's love prevailed. David repented and God also made him a promise...that His covenant with him would remain forever. 2 Samuel 7:12-16 "When your days are over and you rest with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, your own flesh and blood, and I will establish his kingdom. He is the one who will build a house in my name and I will establish his kingdom forever...your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me, your throne will be established forever."
Jeremiah 33:15"In those days and at that time I will make a righteous Branch sprout from David's line; he will do what is just and right in the land". Another gift of Hope!
Darkness...it descends upon me too...whenever I choose to let my sinful nature prevail, when I feel trapped in the burdensome net of worry and doubt and fear, when I feel myself descending into despair or depression. Does it also descend upon you at times?
This week we started our beautiful Advent Study, but my heart was descending into that pit of darkness. My youngest daughter has been ill and at home. She is on medication that is adding hyper-activeness to her already active disposition. My heart was desperate for peace and instead I was thrown into a noise-fest. I tried to play my music, but had to turn it off because it was just adding to the noise level and my battered nerves could not endure any more. Closing around me in its death grip was anxiety about an upcoming bake sale my daughter and I are about to do for the first time this weekend(I'm desperately off schedule at this point and close to panic) a car that would not start and worry about our finances, to name a few!
Oh, but our God is so faithful...He continues to minister and teach lessons even in the darkness we occasionally find ourselves in. This morning I lit my candle....and it went out. This regularly happens to me because I ought to take it down from its stand first so the air does not have a chance to blow the candle out before it gets into its chamber. As I lit it again, the proper way, and hung it back on its stand, my heart filled with tears as I felt the peace invade my soul and the truth that shouted loud and clear:
Jesus is the Light that never goes out!
No matter how dark things may seem at times...there is always Hope! Jesus is that Hope! He is that Light, that beacon, that guides me back to safety, to truth and to joy. It is to Him I must go to be refueled and refreshed. It is to Him I must go to be reminded that if I keep my eyes on the Light, I will see through the darkness that's threatening to blind me and disable me. I don't need to stumble through the darkness, lost and afraid and overwhelmed...neither do you!
Here is a little piece of the prayer altar that is in my bedroom. There is my little light, a blessed tea light...small but it burns its way into my heart. Do you see that rose beneath the candle? There is a little story about that rose. It was blessed about a year and half ago on the feast day of Our Lady of Lourdes. For my non-Catholic friends, you can click on the link to learn more if you like. When Father blessed these roses, he told us to take them to those who were sick and pray with them. I had three roses, one for my mother and mother in law and one for my family.
Last year, my husband gave me roses for my birthday. Within a few days, their petals began to fall and soon I was left with only the stalks. This rose, on the other hand, remains intact...not one petal has fallen off, despite the fact that my air condition unit blows directly onto this altar. Why hasn't it fallen apart too? I can only believe that this is another little thing that God does to keep giving me Hope. Hope so I can continue to trust in Him, so I can continue to have faith in Him.
Dear Friends...if any of you are stumbling in the darkness, do not despair. Jesus is the Light that never goes out and I want to be mesmerized by Him. I want to be drawn in, like a moth to the flame. I want the Hope that He gives to me for a better tomorrow to light up my dark little world. This I pray for you as well.
God's blessings to you and yours...may His Light shine brightly upon the darkness!