“To trust God in the light is nothing, but to trust Him in the dark—that is faith.” – Charles Haddon Spurgeon
I came upon this quote today while reading a devotional. It cut deep like a knife, but I am sure it was the intent spiritually. For those of us who have read God’s Holy Word knows that it speaks of His Word “cutting deep unto the joints and marrow.” I have to share that lately I have been tossed and turned, up and down, but not like in the past.
During my depression years ago, in which it was defined back then as clinical, I searched God’s presence like never before. How? Surely by His grace. Who would think that when you are depressed you want to pray more, sing more, and just be close to God in the darkest hour of life. I chose this solely because I didn’t desire depression, I didn’t desire my sadness, or suicidal thoughts, but truly there was purpose for it. It took some time but eventually the Lord delivered me and gave me clarity and freedom.
The freedom was God using that situation not only to draw me closer to Him, but to work out of me some very dangerous anger, bitterness and unforgiveness issues. Now, today is another time and I find myself angry, bitter and discontent, not in depression, but because of my present circumstance. My anger is performed differently, for in my past anger became rage, a loud pitched voice with a flood of curse words. Now, my anger is tears and silence. No marathon to go pray, no rush to sit with the Word. In reading the quote “To trust God in the light is nothing, but to trust Him in the dark—that is faith.” I pondered my past, what I have overcome and had to ask myself, will I trust God now? It seems harder now for some reason. More so because I don’t want to go through what I am going through right now, I want to just catapult out of this mess and be placed in a new situation, new environment. I want to go home. I say this because over a year ago I walked through a divorce, had no job opening to look forward to and lost my home because of the inability to pay my rent due to lack of work.
I declared by faith that I would not be homeless, I prayed God’s word, wrote it on the mirrors in my home, spoke it out of my mouth, walked it out by faith in my heart. I said surely by faith God will show up in some miraculous way and make things right. I figured I would not be put to shame, I would go before the courts and God would show me mercy and something would turn around. It didn’t. All of this was new to me, I had no way of fixing it, or making it right. I felt spent, lost, tired and angry. Where was God?
I lost my home and ended up now for over a year living in a hotel. I confess I am discontent. I still cry spiritual tears, Lord I want to go home. I do thank God I am not living on the street, or in my car, so this is where I figured I should be thanking Him that I am not cover less, but in my heart I am not home. This is where I know I have to trust Him in the dark. When I can’t see, when things and situations are out of my control.. I consider how unforgiving this world can be, how judgment of this world, money, homes, credit, etc…. can try to define your identity in Christ but God still says……”I love you, I know the thoughts I have towards you, not to harm you but to give you a hope and a future.” Sarcastically in my heart and mind I may have chuckled and said, wow, Lord this is the best you can do for me? What hope is this, what future am I to look forward to?
So, then I consider that God isn’t the problem, but my attitude towards this is, for does not His word say “The joy of the Lord is my strength.” I realize that I have the power and choice to choose joy, no matter if there is sunshine or if it is profoundly storming. Now, I have pondered this word this week while I fasted, “The Joy of the Lord is my Strength.” and I said ….God is joyful about me? Then I look at my circumstance and laugh because I only see something broken, rejected and struggling….Yet, God sees the blood of the lamb, redemption, sanctification, and holiness. How can this be?
My prayer today is that in all that I have come through, oh and there is so much more, in all the reasons I trusted Him in the darkest hour, will I trust Him in this unknown? Will I trust that if He could bring me out of depression, where I can only imagine the enemy found every way to trip me up emotionally, mentally and physically…if I trusted the presence of God then, if I trusted in His light, will I not trust Him now? I know this should be a piece of cake. I mean I am alive…but I will always back that up with am I truly living?
I know that I need to see my present circumstance as God’s way of showing me something that I need to pray to see more clearly. I guess in my mind I just did not understand how I was thrusted forward from depression, into homelessness? I barely had a moment to catch my breath. I just thought that in Christ we moved forward not backwards. So, I gather that there is something God is doing to make me more courageous, or more dependent on Him. I wonder if there is some place I try to plant myself that He knew wasn’t good enough, didn’t measure up to His standards? In all my efforts to not allow what happened to me, to happen, it still did. In my human efforts as well as spiritual I did my part or at least it was what I strived to do. I gather the best thing to do is forgive myself, stop beating myself up for what I could not control and be content with what He has allowed me to have today. For in the end, yes, it is pleasing and joyful to the soul to rejoice when things seem to be in order, untouched, peaceful, quiet and uninterrupted. But when the floods come, when the fig trees are barren, when the fruit on my tree is shaken………who am I then? Am I still the one who trusts in the Lord with all my heart or does my heart turn away and say Lord in my darkness I will glorify my trials and my circumstance?
Prayer: Father God in the name of Jesus, I pray Lord that you will make a way in my heart, out of the no way I see myself getting better or doing better. Lord, it has been such a fight to be obedient, submissive and trusting towards you. Father for so long all I have known is lost and despair. In coming to know Christ Jesus as my Savior, I guess my mind thought that my trials would be minimal, that I would dance and sing all the time. Lord, as of late this has not been the case. I know Lord that there are things, situations, emotions and feelings you either want to sever once and for all, or help me gain control over. Lord, help me to have peace in who you truly are, not what my flesh tries to convey or justify, so that I can justify in my flesh running from you instead of towards you. I need you Lord, just like I did twenty years ago when you spoke to me and I had never known you. I accepted the gift of Salvation joyfully. I need you Lord to cut from the root of my soul, my heart all the lies, all the shame, all the guilt, or the confusion and doubt that I have carried that blocks joy from being mine in Christ. I know Lord my flesh, only because I am able to line it up with what you define as sinful in your Holy Word. Help me not to try and find comfort in some of your Word, but all of it. Forgive me for my partial sacrifice. Help me to give you all of me, not just my sunshine days of worship and praise, but to praise you when it is dry and barren. Lord I give you glory and pray that you will help me to see that you are Good and that your Love and Mercy, and Grace and Favor are still with me. That you don’t give up easily and your not intimidated by our rebellious temper tantrums, doubts, confusion or anger, but that you use it with your Word that is in our hearts to change us, make us whole and new before you, for your glory, and for us. Lord I thank you for the gift you have given me to write and share. Lord I pray that others will come to know you, be honest with you and trust that you will keep it hidden and safe in you. Help us heal from lost, help us heal from doubt, and help us know that we don’t have to lack anything good thing, because Jesus said….”My Father shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory.” Father let us see your glory, that even when our pockets are empty, our bank accounts are low, we lose homes, husbands, children, jobs, friends, churches or even our spiritual senses at times. You are willing to give us an abundance of richness in spirit, in truth, in heart and in soul. That is where the riches truly are in a spiritual loving walking relationship with you. In Jesus name I pray this right now. Amen and Amen.