It’s difficult to stay in hope while we’re standing in the darkness.
Consider the faith of Mary Magdalene. Scripture tells us “While it was still dark, she went to the tomb” (John 20:1).
While it was still dark, her faith was strong enough to visit the grave of her Lord. She wanted to be with Jesus one more time, to hold his body in her arms and thank him for rescuing her from the demons.
I imagine she had not slept since the horror of standing near his cross and watching him die.
Because of her devotion, God granted her the desire of her heart—to see Jesus again.
But this time, he was gloriously alive.
He also gave her the privilege of telling the fearful brothers that she had seen him.
He spoke to her, called her by name.
While it was still dark.
When we’re in those dark places, it is so difficult to imagine life at the end of the tunnel. We see only our pain, the challenge of each day. We feel only the raw depth of our struggles.
Our faith tends to fester, encased in a crust of bitterness. “Why did this happen?” “When will it end?” are the questions we scream.
Yet the answer is “Who.”
At the end of the darkness stands the One who conquered it, the One who laughed in the face of death.
And he did it while it was still dark. He had already stepped out of that tomb before Mary came to look for him.
Maybe you’re living in the depths of a grief that doesn’t seem to ease. Like me, every day is a reminder of the emptiness in your soul, the place where that loved one used to live.
Maybe you’re struggling with illness. Like my son, every day is a reminder of the health you have lost.
Maybe you’re trudging through emotional pain, the reminders of what others did to you, those who did not care enough about your heart.
While you are in the darkness, Love steps out of the tomb. Life waits for you. The risen Jesus longs to embrace you.
Stay in hope, dear one.
The darkness will gradually fade, and you will breathe life again.
©2018 RJ Thesman – All Rights Reserved
This is truly one of your best articles. You’re offering those words we all need: the words to weather it.
Thanks, SuZan. Oddly enough, I wrote this one in 5 minutes after my devotions this morning and finding that phrase, “while it was still dark.”
Loved this so much. “…While standing in darkness.” That first line had me. Thanks for bring hope to the dark!
Yes, I’m sure you understand. I’m glad you enjoyed this post – one of those spur-of-the-moment writings. Hope you had a blessed Easter, Sylvia !
I met you about 4.5 years ago on 63rd St., I believe. You were speaking to a small group of mental health care workers. I was beginning my work at age 57 in addition counseling. Today I wonder if I can continue on this path until retirement age. I feel I’m losing empathy when clients whine and tell grandiose stories. I feel depressed it seems. The paperwork and documentation needed gives me little time to take care of feeding me, and use the bathroom. The state demands 2 hour individual sessions with each client weekly, and 4 hour group therapy twice weekly, some clients are filled with hate, and bitterly reject Christ. I grieve. Physically I get some kind of ‘bug’ or allergic response, this year twice. Now I fear I am sounding like my clients. Thank you for letting me vent.
We also have something in common with care for elderly parents who battling disease still in their home about 4 hours from me. I attempt to see them about 1 time a month. It is difficult to see them grow weak.
Do you have any contacts or referrals that work in the field of Art Therapy any where in the country? Thank you.
I remember meeting you, Teresa. So nice to hear from you again. I am so sorry about the stress of your job and I can tell you from experience – that stress will kill your creativity and affect your very soul. I am one year out of ministry exhaustion – had to set my personal boundaries and take care of myself. Life is so much better. I do not have any contacts in art therapy – sorry! Wondering if you might like to have coffee sometime? If so, email me at Rebecca@RJThesman.net.
It was in my darkness that HOPE clutched my fingers. I am still hanging on, waiting to breathe freely again, and see the shining and newness of life.
I am rooting for you, Jennifer !
Thank you for this beautiful reminder of the Presence of Jesus. Blessings
I’m glad it was a blessing to you, Lavon. Thanks for the comment.