Darkness

I work for a church. I have helped start and run ministries on Georgia Tech’s campus, lead small groups, read the whole new testament, and done all sorts of other churchy things. Generally my life is pretty good and positive; often exciting, but with enough stability to keep me grounded… right now, however, I feel as if my life has entered a state of darkness … almost as if God has just peace-ed out. Its kind of freaking me out. 

Its not like i should be surprised by this or even upset about it … Jesus was led into the wilderness to be tempted, the Israelites wandered in the desert for 40 years, David and Jesus both cried out at times, “my God my God why have you forsaken me?” … i know all of these things and yet i still feel like a fish with no water… like my life source has simply been removed. I have no sense of direction in my life right now but rather feel like i am playing a game of guess and check with my future. 

I guess this isn’t definitely a bad place to be … the darkness that is … though it is incredibly uncomfortable and scary. I believe that part of my winding up here, though not all of it, is a result of my own sin and have no one to blame for that but myself. But like Job, I know that I am a righteous man … not that i have not or do not sin, but that my faith and my hope for my life are in God’s righteousness, not in my own (I’m assuming this to be true of Job as well) and so a large part of me puts this darkness on God. 

It seems that even Jesus attributed His darkness to the father “why have YOU forsaken ME?” And if this is the case, if God forsakes us at times, then why? 

My friend Tommy believes that God does His most significant work in us when we are lost … when we are in the darkness. This makes sense inside of the metaphor of God as light … light does not have much of an affect in light, but has an incredible affect when brought into the darkness. I recently taught high schoolers about Psalm 22 using that metaphor and yet I am not drawing the connection myself as well as i hope that they will. 

While light does have its greatest effect in darkness, that is simply because darkness needs light and lightness doesn’t. So the impact of light in darkness is only a higher percentage … not a higher net change. Is it that God’s work is more noticeable in darkness and so we are more apt to see it for what it really is?

If this is the case that means that God is working equally as much in the older son who stayed home as He is in the prodigal son, its just more noticeable in the prodigal. So should the prodigal be more thankful or is it just that the prodigal is more likely to be thankful even though both have equally as much reason to give thanks?

I struggle with being thankful for my darkness … it kinda sucks. I wish i could leave on a higher note, but right now i don’t feel like i would be being honest or authentic if i said i felt much hope. I may believe that i have reason to hope, but the whole feeling lost thing is kind of synonymous with feeling hopeless isn’t it? My feelings an my believes don’t line up … weird.

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~ by Will Norman on July 28, 2007.

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