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A Darkness That Will Not Lift

January 21, 2020

“Lord, there are times in my life when I feel like I’m in darkness, a darkness that will not lift.”

Pretty bold confession.

Been there. Maybe you have, too.

Kristen E. Vincent wrote that as the first line of a prayer (Disciplines 2020, p.38).

Before we get to her second line, take a moment and prayerfully name those times in your own life when it felt you were “in darkness, a darkness that will not lift.”

This can get painful. Real life does.

But that’s not the end.

After naming the problem, she guides us into remembrance and hope: “Yet you are the light that will never be extinguished.” That’s not just for Advent, it’s for today and tonight and all times and all places.

“But Joe, I can’t always see the light.” Me neither.

Maybe that’s why I especially appreciate the final line of this prayer:  “Help me to be still and recognize the signs of your light around me.”

Go over that application, that action step, with me again. “Help me to be still and recognize the signs of your light around me.”

That’s a two-parter —

Help me to be still

— that’s trickier for some of us than others of us, but it’s there for all of us:

Help me to be still

— and then what? Then the real good stuff starts, but it can also be among the most difficult —

Help me to be still

and recognize

— Such recognition means we’re both looking and seeing.

Why? So we don’t miss God’s graciousness —

Help me to be still

and recognize

the signs of your light around me.

— Those signs exist. As Christ Jesus asks, “Don’t you see the point of all this? Don’t you get it at all?” (Mark 8:18, the Message version)

By the grace of God, we do.

And amen.

 

 

 

 

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