It is difficult to stay in hope while we are living within 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 the 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 — almost unbelievably alive.
Then he gave her the privilege of telling the fearful brothers how she had seen him. He spoke to her, called her by name. Gave her a job to do.
While it was still dark.
When we dwell in 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. Another twenty-four hours required of us: giving care to a loved one, enduring chronic pain, watching our personal world crumble.
We feel only the raw depth of the struggle.
Our faith tends to fester, encased in a crust of growing bitterness. We inwardly scream questions:
“Why did this happen?”
“When will it end?”
“Where is the answer to my prayer?”
Yet the answer is silence.
At the end of the darkness stands the only One who conquered it. The One who laughed at the eternal outcome of death. The One who understood that sometimes life is much harder than death.
And he conquered the gloom while it was still dark. He had already stepped out of that tomb before Mary came to look for him.
Maybe you live in the depths of a grief that never seems to ease. Every day is a reminder of the emptiness, the place where that loved one used to live.
Maybe you struggle with illness. Every day is a reminder of the health you have lost.
Maybe you trudge through emotional pain, the reminder 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, ready to embrace you and give you a reason to live. An abundance of a better life waits for you. The risen Jesus longs to empower you with his hope-filled strength.
Stay in hope. The darkness will gradually fade, and you will breathe life again.
©2021 RJ Thesman – All Rights Reserved
Finding Hope When Life Unravels is an e-book with action points for stepping out of the darkness.