This past year has been hard. Between chronic pain, ailing parents, launching children, and increasing financial burdens, I feel as if a heavy blanket of darkness has fallen upon every area of my life. This darkness threatens to choke all hope from my heart.
Jesus encountered a darkness.
“At noon, darkness fell across the whole land until three o’clock. At about three o’clock, Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” which means “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?”, Matthew 27:45-46, NLT
WHERE IS GOD WHEN DARKNESS FALL?
Have you ever felt this way? Darkness everywhere you look, relentless and immense suffering, seemingly trapped in circumstances beyond your control. Have you ever wondered where God is in the midst of the choking darkness?
The Word says Jesus endured the darkness three hours before He cried out…Even for Him darkness lingered.
From the dark times I’ve experienced, I have the strength in and of my own self to withstand and endure for a while. As time wears on, though, I become weary.
Do you do that?–Push through in your own strength hoping you have what it takes to see it to the other side, all the while praying the current trial ends long before your strength wears out.
My darkness has lasted far longer than my strength. I’m tired, weak, worn out, hurting, battling depression–if all of my trials represented a physical wrestling, I would have cried UNCLE or MERCY a long time ago!
Early on in these mountain of trials my cries were, “God rescue me from these things that are so difficult and hurt so incredibly bad.” As the darkness lingered and troubles compounded, my cries have become “God where are you? Why have you abandoned me to this darkness for so long? Why have you delayed my rescue?”
So here I am : physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually crying UNCLE. In my own strength, ability, knowledge, and understanding I am empty. I have nothing left to continue this battle on my own; but maybe that is exactly where I made the mistake–relying on my own strengths and abilities.
What if I would have chosen to run straight to God instead of wrestling these difficult things myself. Would I have been able to walk through this season of dark and hard things and feel safe in the midst of them?
“Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”, Matthew 11:28-30, NLT
Maybe it took be getting to this place and crying UNCLE to recognize God’s mercy and grace that is there for me. If I give Him these heavy things that are breaking my heart, wearing on my mind, and burdening my soul, will I really find the rest that has alluded me as I have tried to manage it all in my own abilities? Can this heavy blanket of darkness really be traded for a light burden as I release wrestling for control? What if I stopped trying to make things turn out a certain way, and trusted God with the outcomes?
What would this dark and hard season look like if I not only released the outcome to God, but also the details of each day that lead to His outcome? Would I find the hope that seems to be waning at the same rate my strength is?
So here I am. Attempting to trust God and His Word. I choose to lay down this heavy blanket of dark and hard things at the feet of Jesus. I have no control over any of it! I trade the responsibility of controlling them as well as the outcome of each painful circumstance for the easy yoke Jesus offers me. I still have to walk through each one of these issues, but the outcome is not reliant on me. I don’t have to carry the burden of it all by myself. God WANTS to carry it. I have to allow Him.
As I ponder these things, hope is slowly restored. I have no idea how long this dark and hard place will last, but I am confident I will see God’s goodness as I embrace the journey and release the control to Him.
Lord, Even in the deepest darkness and the most painful of circumstances, help me wait on You!