Our Worship Pastor Seth Condrey has written a 5-part devotional series based on the lyrics from his new song, "Great Hope, Great God." If you missed Part 2 last week, check it out here.
I'm excited for him to share Part 3 with you today.
“Lord when the light isn’t here yet, and it’s so hard to find where you are,
I’ll hold on to you while you teach me to see in the dark."
When my boys were little, we were at a youth camp in the Georgia mountains surrounded by thick forests. After a late night session, we were walking to our cabin in what seemed like the darkest of nights. I could barely see the path while my boys were terrified of the darkness itself. They clung to my arms on either side as we navigated the dark together.
At one point, I made them stop, let go of my arms, and just stand in the quiet so that I could assure them with my calm voice that there was nothing to be afraid of. That moment in which they could not hold on to me, felt like an eternity to them and seemed to make them more anxious.
It was half an hour of us learning how to walk in the night without panicking. One thing I knew for sure was that my presence with them was what made it even possible and bearable for those little rascals. Before we could see the glimmering light of the cabin, they just wanted to know they could hold on to me.
They didn’t like the “lesson” about not being afraid.
Truthfully, I understand that feeling so well. This lyric reminds me that we all have moments when we feel like we are just waiting for the darkness to end. We are not alone in the dark! We can learn from the very “Light of the World” how to navigate our way through dark times.
Brennan Manning wrote “in heaven there are only 5 year olds”. Before God, we are all children. We are his kids walking through impossibly dark situations and we just want someone to hold onto.
Even the greatest of the servants of God have experienced these dark nights. St. John of the Cross coined the phrase “dark night of the soul”, to describe those times when we feel that God has forsaken us: the nights when all we see and experience is our own pain and panic. It’s a horrible feeling!
In a strange way, it’s comforting to know that we’re not alone in that experience. King David repeatedly expresses feelings of abandonment and asks God “Why?”! In Psalm 139, in a moment of clarity, he writes… “even the dark is as light to you”. Think about that...
God sees night and day simultaneously. Darkness and light are his arrangements - and he is there. Here. Wherever you find yourself right now, you can reach and ask him to teach you and to give you eyes that can see, even in the dark. He knows the way and we truly do not have to fear! We can simply hold on and trust and learn from the “light that shines in the darkness”.
Do you know any honest pursuer of God who hasn’t had a spiritually dark night?
At times, it seems like the more someone goes after the Light, and desires to be the light, the more darkness they encounter, externally as well as internally.
May we open our eyes in the dark and trust the Light of the World to teach us to navigate the seemingly impossible obscurity, uncertainty, and pain. He knows the way. He is the way.
- Seth Condrey