Saturday, March 13, 2010

lenten 40: day 22 - darkness within

image 22.
3Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.
~Romans 5:3-5

one's spiritual journey will last a lifetime. perseverance on the journey is sure to produce character and character, hope. and we know that hope will not disappoint us at all. but one must strive to 'keep on keepin' on.' the journey is long but fruitful, for all who stay rooted in Jesus. this, however, does not mean the difficulty will not come.

we walk in the light, but darkness surrounds us. that darkness, if we allow it, may creep in to parts of our being that can lead to a distancing of our connection with God.

no matter how far or long we walk with Jesus, darkness will come. how prepared are we when that happens? how will we respond?

darkness of the soul may also come when one is consumed in Christian service over an extended period of time. many dedicated followers of Jesus have also experienced what is referred to as the 'dark night of the soul.' Mother Teresa experienced this as have many others. this period of 'dark times' may result in the waning of foundational elements of ones faith (prayer, spiritual disciplines, etc.) those elements may not appear to connect individuals with God as they once did. it may appear that God has abandoned them.

this period of darkness - this period of question, confusion or of filling one's heart with stress or doubt can lead to a new 'awakening' of sorts. think of Peter. he certainly experienced his own darkness when he knowingly denied a connection with Jesus. look at the awakening that took place within him when he answered Christ's call to 'feed my sheep.' (John 21; Acts 2)

i heard a quote once that i have not forgotten: "to appreciate the sunrise, you have to wait through the night.'

perhaps that period of darkness... of emptiness... of feeling nothingness just may lead to a greater understanding and appreciation of God's light and his purpose and plan, not only for you, but for all humanity.

keep on keepin' on. rejoice in your suffering. because in the end, hope will not disappoint. this i believe.

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