Embracing the Darkness
I haven’t posted a blog in a few weeks because, honestly, I want to write things that encourage you and I’ve not felt like I had the words to do that in recent days.
I went back last night and read the words I wrote on March 13th about faith and Covid. I realized that as I penned those words, I never imagined what the next days, weeks and now months would have in store for us. I still believe every word of what I wrote to be true, but I’d be hypocritical if I didn’t admit that there have been days when my faith was not nearly as strong as that I portrayed and encouraged of us on that day.
But God is so faithful…and He revealed a new word to me today as I revisited a passage I’ve read, highlighted and even taught several times over the years.
I love the words of Psalm 139 and it is the passage I most frequently refer to when teaching the Enneagram. Each of us is wonderfully complex and valued beyond comprehension by our creator.
In fact, this is one of the passages my coaching clients are exploring this week as they consider living abundantly in their own unique gifts and strengths. But today, there are a couple of verses from this chapter I am sure I have passed over numerous times that are giving me hope. I pray they speak to you as well.
Psalm 139:12b tells us, “To you the night shines as bright as day. Darkness and light are both alike to you.”
Darkness is something that many of us fear. It is often symbolic of evil or death. We are called to be the light of the world and we know that one small flame can penetrate the darkness. We don’t like to stay in dark places and we seek out a way to bring light there as quickly as possible.
I don’t know how you feel about it, but to me it seems as though a darkness has fallen over our country and we are desperately scrambling to find some light. The longer we search and don’t find what we’re looking for, the angrier and more outraged we seem to become. We want leaders to provide it. We want pastors to provide it. We want bosses, news anchors, and even friends, to shed some light right now. We seem to listen to any and every voice we can find to help us make sense of it all. We want to beg God to make it stop and we cry out to Him to “fix things” so that we can return to our places of “normal” or “comfortableness.” And yet, with each day it seems the darkness lingers.
But we can be encouraged that He sees through the darkness. Darkness and light are the same to Him. So maybe, just maybe, we are supposed to sit in the darkness for a while. Maybe in the darkness we will cling more desperately to our source of light. Maybe in the darkness we learn the most. Maybe it is where a healthy “death” occurs to bring new “life” in days to come. Maybe the darkness is the place of healing and of rest. Maybe we need to learn that He is still with us in the darkness. “Even in the darkness I cannot hide from you.” Psalm 139:12a
Psalm 139 ends with a prayer I have been praying daily as my heart yearns to be a reflection of Christ even though my flesh is often weak. “Search me O God and know my heart; test me and know my thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you and lead me along the path of everlasting life.”
I won’t lie to you and say that I’m fully embracing darkness or that I won’t keep praying for light. I won’t pretend I’ve figured anything out. There is so much about all of this that I just don’t know. But I will tell you that I find great comfort in knowing that the God who created light and darkness is still in control of what feels like an out of control world. And He knows. And I can trust that in the end the light will overcome the darkness and Heaven will be restored on Earth. Until that day, may He find us faithful to love Him and to love one another, even on the darkest days.
Through On Purpose Coaching I have created the tools you need to develop skills for more intentionality in your life. By providing opportunities for group or individual coaching, online courses, weekly blogs, podcasts, live events, team building seminars, Bible studies and more, I help minimize the anxiety, fear, insecurity, communication difficulties and overall lack of joy that many of us experience due to living without purpose. I hope this will become a community of support for you in the days ahead. Be sure to follow me on Facebook and Instagram and check out my website http://www.stephanicook.org. Let's connect. I'd love to hear from you!