LENTEN CONNECTIONS 2016: Lighting Up the Darkness

Lent: A Time to Prepare

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.  (Psalm 34:18)
In this season of Lent approaching Easter, we consider our Lord Jesus—broken, injured and violated, and then laid the blackness of a cave in order to bring forth life and light.
On that first Good Friday the Hope of the world, seemingly dashed, hung lifeless on a cross.  Those who loved him were overwhelmed with darkness, brokenness and loss.
We will all experience seasons of darkness and brokenness in our own lives.  When hope seems lost and uncertainty surrounds like a thick fog making it impossible to find our way.
It’s not just kids who feel it; the dark is a scary place to be.  Time seems to stand still when we’re trapped in the blackness of it.  We are desperate to escape it.  We feel scared, anxious and overwhelmed.
It’s in those darkest places and times that God can do his most amazing and transforming work if we’ll allow him.  Just as Jesus endured darkness and transformed it into light and life, his most precious gift to us, God longs to bring hope and healing to our brokenness.  It’s not about escaping the dark.  The beauty is in bringing light into the darkness.  Brene Brown writes, “Much of the beauty of light owes its existence to the dark.”
When we allow Him, who is the Light of the World, to enter our darkness, our very souls are filled with peace . . . the peace of God that transcends all understanding (Philippians 4:7).  Or what I like to call “ridiculous peace that doesn’t make sense.”  After all, how can peace seem possible whilst the storms of life rage on?  Then, right in the midst of peace, enters joy.  Unspeakable joy!  Joy bubbling up inside of us and flowing out uncontained.  Suddenly we find that our darkness, our brokenness, our sadness, loss and despair. are gifts redeemed.  Given back to us as hope.  The stone is rolled away and light floods in!
We live in a world marred with brokenness and darkened by sin, but we were not created for darkness.  We were created in the image of the one who is Light.  Our brokenness is not beyond his ability to heal.  Neither is the darkness too black for him to see us.  We are loved by a kind and merciful God who sees us even in the dark.  El Roi, “the God who sees me”.  Hagar’s name for God when He saw her in her distress (see Genesis 16).  We can entrust our hearts to the One who has known darkness and be assured of his promise to meet us in our need, becoming our light, taking our hand and guiding us through.
Dear Lord, we are grateful that you are a God who sees us.  You understand our pain and brokenness.  Come and meet us in our need.  Bring your light and life to our circumstances.  Fill us with your peace and joy.  Amen.
Power to Redeem by Lauren Daigle
Submitted by Carla Ewing