“I will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, who summons you by name” (Isaiah 45:3).
I have been reading Barbara Brown Taylor’s new thought provoking book, Learning to Walk in the Dark. At the same time, I received my Time magazine spotlighting her book with the caption, “Finding God In the Dark.”
The journalist of the article said that in the bleakest of moments God is closer than ever. Taylor challenges us not to run from that inevitable darkness that engulfs us like a heavy fog, or to make “light” of it, but to accept and learn from it. She claims that she needs darkness more than light because of the unique riches that follow. Taylor doesn’t mean to deny those dark interminable times, but to acknowledge all of the painful feelings that come.
I think of some of the darkness I’ve triumphed over with God’s help: a bilateral mastectomy at 42, clinical depression for two years in my 40’s, having my colon removed 4 four years ago, Sjogren’s Disease for twenty years, and now the heinous dementia my husband has. I look at each instance amazed at how God does His work of immeasurable transformation.
I actually rejoice for He and I are closer and I cherish life and the good that all of these traumas have wrought–they are truly precious treasures.
I was leafing through the April AARP magazine and found an article entitled “Surviving the Jolt” that refers to PTG, “Post Traumatic Growth ” as opposed to PTSD, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. PTSD often precedes PTG (coined by Dr. Laurence Calhoun at the University of North Carolina).
Those of us with chronic disease can easily become derailed over and over. Trust that God in His time will propel you to experience Post Traumatic Growth as He gives you the strength to navigate your way to His glorious light.
Prayer: Lord, thank You for the light You always bring out of our darkness. Help us to embrace the dark because You ultimately bring such precious transformation in our lives. May our times in the light and darkness honor You. Amen.
About the author:
Jackie Smith lives at the foot of the Smoky Mountains in beautiful Knoxville, TN. She has Sjogren’s disease and migraine headaches. Jackie had a bilateral mastectomy over 25 years ago. A few years ago she had her colon removed, necessitating a permanent ileostomy. Jackie has her master’s degree in Child and Family Studies. While she has never been able to work using her degree, she has great joy using it with her husband, 5 children and 13 grandchildren. Jackie loves sharing with others through her writing how God is so in love with us.
Are you going through a time of darkness and wonder if it will ever end? Know that your loving Abba will surprise you with the light. As God’s precious child, this time will not be wasted.
This is Sara Groves singing, “From this One.” It speaks of how she was in a dark place and yet God was able to call her out of it and show her a blessing in the simplest of way. She shares how when we are walking in the dark we cannot see very far in front of us. And yet God will answer our cry for Him. I hope it encourages you. -Lisa