I want to talk about darkness. Not just the darkness that happens when the sun goes down and the lights go off -- I'm talking about the darkness that sometimes descends on our lives, making everything seem bleak and hopeless. Most of us experience these moments, when the darkness of a situation makes us feel like we're lost -- like we can't see where we're going. If we're lucky we don't experience darkness in our lives too often. But sometimes, when life gets dark, it can seem like it will be dark forever, and the lights won't ever turn back on.
I have had my share of darkness in my life. From trying moments in my childhood -- when my mother and I were homeless -- to the painful end of my marriage, to the morning in 2013 when an armed gunman stormed into the school where I worked in Atlanta. I know what it feels like to be walking around blindly in the pitch black, not knowing where to turn or what to do. I understand the desperation that can overwhelm us, and make us feel like there's no way out--like the darkness will swallow us whole.
But I also know that darkness can be conquered and defeated, and that we can find our way out of any dark situation. That's because the light of God always -- always -- illuminates the dark. The word of our Lord, and the radiant glory that it brings, will always be stronger and brighter than the forces that plunge us into the pitch-black. "If you are in darkness," it says in Psalms 27:14, "wait on the Lord for every detail because he is the light."
But how can we turn on that light? When everything around us is dark, how do we even find the light switch? We do it by reading the Bible every day and trusting in it's illuminating power. We do it by finding the passages that can change how we think and feel, and give us the strength to move through the darkness, into God's beautiful light. We do it by trusting in God's message to us. "Trust in God," Psalms 62:8 tells us, "He is our refuge in time of storms."
When the storms in my life were the scariest, I woke up early every morning and sat at my kitchen table and let the words of the Bible pass through me. And then again at night, right before I fell asleep, I listened to scriptures on my IPhone. And every day, I found some words that brought me great comfort, and over time that comfort made me feel stronger and less lost. I realized I was not alone in the darkness. I realized God was always there, right alongside me.
Most importantly, I realized I wouldn't be the one to find a path out of the darkness -- no, that is what God is really great at. All I had to do was stay by God's side -- and keep him in my life always, even during the hardest times -- and God would be the one to lead me out of the darkness. All of the fear and worries and hopelessness I had felt in the past -- none of that matters. Because as long as I stood with God, He would cut a path for me to a new beginning. "Let go of your past," it says Philippians 3:13-14, "as God walks you into your future."
So the next time you feel lost and helpless and covered by darkness, open your Bible, trust in God's word -- and turn on the light.
Author | Inspirational Speaker
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