I’ve often wondered, “Where is God in dark places?”
You are probably thinking, “I’ve heard this before.” I think most of us have, but even though I’ve heard it over and over, I still find myself asking it.
Most Christians know that it is easy to praise, love, and thank God when life is going along swimmingly. But what happens when it’s not? What happens when that peace and calm you had just a minute ago is torn from your life?
When harder times do come about I find it hard to stay close to God’s heart. There are so many enticing things that are easily accessible, and take less time than reading my Bible or devotionals. I find myself wanting immediate relief which can be transposed through things that aren’t good for my soul.
I’ve also found that in those vulnerable and heart-sick moments, I need to cling onto Jesus with all I’ve got.
A little while back, a group of us went surfing to this “awesome hidden away spot that no one knows about.” Sweet, cool surf spot.
But wait, there were some strings attached. To get to this spot we had to walk through this tunnel/sewer, and not only that, it was pitch black.
As someone who hates being in closed and dark spaces, you could say this was not pleasing news.
The adventurer in me overcame my hesitancy and so boards in hand, we ventured into the tunnel as the light behind us slowly faded. To help guide us, we held onto the wall and precariously avoided the suspicious patches of water (with who knows what is in it).
I had no idea what I was walking into, what spiders or bugs could be surrounding me, but with my hand on the wall and one around my board, I walked into the unknown
I knew any second now I would see a light. Even though I hadn’t been to this exact spot before, I just had faith that it was there; I just had to keep clinging and charging forward.
Sure enough, we walked around a bend and I saw faint patches of light brushing against the wall. Walking faster, I made the turn as an effervescent light poured through.
Vines hung from the entrance, and I could see a beautiful trail dotted with orange and purple flowers. The contrast between the darkness we were just in and the light and beauty that engulfed us was astonishing.
The funny thing is, that same morning before the surf trip, I was reading my Bible and I happened to stumble on a verse that says this:
“Yet I am writing you a new command; its truth is seen in him and in you, because the darkness is passing and the true light is already shining.” 1 John 2:8
God unraveled my thoughts and showed me something that He has made me ponder for weeks. He showed me that a lot of people in this world live in that sewer. They don’t know they’re living in it, it is just the world they know, they don’t know any better.
(Reminds me of this verse: “Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.'” Luke 23:34)
We are often too content with drinking from the sewer water (indulging in “the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life” 1 John 2:8, 15-17). We stay in the sewer often because of contentment. We might have heard of a light, but a lot of people don’t believe it or are too in love with their own world to care about it.
It is so easy to get wrapped up in what the world is offering. It’s there and easy to access, but it’s fleeting, insatiable, and pretty gross.
Like the darkness, the world and its desires pass away. They can’t fill, and they aren’t meant to! Humans are beautifully complex creatures that have deep desires, but you cannot fill desires with a teacup when they can consume a whole ocean.
When I was walking through the dark tunnel, I had the wall to cling onto. In this world, when I am going through hard times, I have Someone to cling onto. I keep walking forward, not wanting to stay in that dark place because of hope. I have hope because I trust in Jesus and His character, He is a God of love and light. We have hope in Jesus and that there is literally light at the end of the tunnel.
My prayer is that more people would know about this light, this Hope. And for those that do know it, that they would walk in it, and walk in the hope that it is coming. There is no need to despair. When God is with us, through everything, it can be well with our souls.
So where is God in dark places?
Well, He’s right beside you, guiding you with His word, sometimes His presence, and eventually His light. Sometimes we don’t feel Him at all, but we have to have faith that He is there. This “True Light” is already shining, and it is shining brightly. The darkness is passing, so have hope dear child of God.
words and photos by Abigail White