Pastor's Blog

Pastor's Note - August 19

In last week’s note, I talked a bit about faith being “night vision,” or the ability to see clearly the truth, character, and promises of God, when all around is dark (i.e. we cannot sense His presence in our circumstance). And I discussed the idea that God builds our understanding of Him in times when the light is shining, so that we will be prepared for those times when we are in the dark, and He seems absent, and we cannot sense Him. That prompted a good question from someone. What about those times when we are in the dark, and we have no idea what’s going on around us, and we cannot sense God’s help in our context… and we haven’t been (or don’t feel we have been) prepared for that moment? What if our faith doesn’t seem sufficient for the moment of darkness? I thought that was a good question! One question came to mind as I have briefly reflected on that. That question is – what would be my first actions if the light went out? First, I suppose I would try to find a light. Spiritually speaking, then, I would want to go to that which bears light on my situation, which is Scripture itself. As Proverbs states (and Amy Grant sang), “thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” (Psalm 119:5). Scripture sheds light in the dark. If you are struggling in faith, or having trouble seeing God, then go to where He can be seen, and where His light shines. God’s Word sheds light. Second, if I were stuck in the dark, I would look to see if there was a guide who knew the layout, and can navigate in the darkness. Spiritually speaking, that would mean asking for help from, or reaching out to, someone who has been in that same darkness before, and can help guide you through it. There are plenty of people in our church who have walked through spiritually dark times. Ask just about any of our older saints, and they will be able to tell you stories of God’s faithfulness in and through dark times. This is where the community of the church can be incredibly helpful. And I would encourage anyone who is stumbling in the darkness to lean on someone who has been there before. Third, and maybe even most importantly, if I were stuck in the dark and without much hope, I would cry out for help. In spiritual terms, this is prayer. Even when you can’t see or feel God, or are having trouble hearing Him, He can hear you. And the Lord delights in those who seek His face. Listen to the wonderful promise of Proverbs 8:17; “I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me.” God loves the one who prays fervently, seeking Him. In due time, in His time, He will answer. There may be other helpful thoughts you have, but this is what came to my mind as I considered how to navigate the dark. Shine a light with God’s Word, seek a navigator who knows the way through darkness, and cry out to the Lord who loves those who seek Him.

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