Friday, August 21, 2009

Walking through Darkness

Sometimes bad things happen to good people. It's a fact of life. Two people who have devoted their lives to God and would make the world's best parents are left childless. The high school coach/Sunday school teacher gets a horrible form of cancer that is hard to beat. We know these people. They are friends, relatives, loved ones. We cry out to God and ask "Why, Lord?? Why would you let this happen?" I've often found myself saying that. More times than I care to count. I used to think it was that my faith wasn't strong enough to be able to look at a dark situation and be confident that the best would come from it. I've learned that it isn't the case, that even the most devote followers of Christ often cry those words. And it's okay. He may not answer us right away when we cry out that question, but it's okay to ask. Job cried out and asked why. He was a man of great faith but still wanted to know why God would take everything from him. So asking why isn't a problem. What we can take away from Job is the fact that Job had great faith and knew without doubt that God was still God and there was a reason why. Because of his faith, Job continued to praise God, despite of his lack of understanding why. We should follow Job's example. God has a great reason for everything. Even dragging us what feels like a million miles from where we want to be. Today, I am going to choose to be like Job, praising God even when I don't understand why.
God uses the darkness we walk through for good. Isaiah 61:2 claims there are "treasures of darkness" and He uses them so that we "may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel".
The next time darkness falls in my life, I want to choose to praise Him in spite of the darkness, know that the darkness holds riches that will form me into a better person, and a more faithful child of God.
If we can get through the darkness, God has promised us better things on the other side:

I waited patiently for the Lord;
he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear
and put their trust in the Lord.
-Psalm 40:1-3

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