Can faith be just as strong in the dark as it is in the light?

The winds whistle as they whip by, calling her name with an eery sense of familiarity. She trembles as the mist wraps itself around her while the chant gains momentum: Sandra, Sandra!

Nothing in her life so far has prepared her for this. Speechless, uncharacteristically moved–wonder takes over the moment. What do you make of a storm when it’s greater than you? Can faith be just as strong in the dark as it is in the light?

Everything that once worked as a perfect response to life before has been eclipsed. How can the quiet repose of the lake be restored? Floating is no longer possible, what if surviving isn’t either?

Thoughts race with abandon through the fray of confusion, troubling her with the lament of her ignorance in facing them. If only there were help from some source other than the assaulted. She pleads in unison with the storm. There is no help in her, only need–need she cannot meet nor manage.

“But I can.”

The strong words rapture the skies around her and bring the racketeering winds to attention. The waves relax into a lapping cadence of patient waiting. He enters and the shadows release their last grip. The Savior–there all the time–suddenly lets the storm-tossed lass know He is there.

He places His hand upon her shoulder and sinks to a quiet cushion beside. Though the world about her is silenced, she still storms: Where were You? And why didn’t You come sooner? I was waiting for You and You let me be all alone! Then, sinking into an awe-filled whisper: I thought I was going to…die.

He replies without words, shifting His gaze to her heart. She looks with Him, down–past her shabby cloak and rain-soaked skin (the many details of her physical and molecular being)–to her central person. They witness together her thoughts, schemes, doubts, pleadings–the deepest parts of her revealed on a hidden stage.

She is relieved that for Him they are just as real as they are to her. He does not miss their affect or their implications. Then, the pleasant sense sinks into scorn: Oh, that she had known how much He was watching these activities within her all the time! How she would like to modify the show He’s seen and remove His steady frown.

But He wraps His arm about her shoulders and a whisper brings all her being into harmonious anticipation: “Sandra.”

“Yes, Lord?” comes without rehearsal.

“Give Me your heart. I want its rhythms to be for Me–for you to know My presence inside. For My pleasure to be alive in You. Let Me in.”

Let Him in? With tremors of anxiety, she ponders what such an adjustment could be like. Ugh! There’s no way He would like it. She couldn’t let Him inside when so much remained that she wished to conceal. No, no…

Then consciousness of Him begins to grow stronger than her arguments; she looks up. Somehow she knows He understands exactly what she’d been wrestling inside. Yet, she notices–and what a start it gives her!–He still wants to come in. It appears His eagerness is pressing upon Him, now upon her. Will she just say yes?

Calm rushes in and robs her heart’s thoughts of doubt, leaving her with the aroma of Another’s peace as he steels off into the night. If He still wants to come in, even when she can’t make her inside right for Him–why should she want to keep Him from entering? Surely this desire of His was a mystery that was too personal for her to not be explored by it and found out in it. This just might be home and she isn’t going to miss the door. Yes! escaped her soul in a rush to meet Him.

 

Certainty is dead at the surface of great depths

What we don't know until we sink to the bottom

Look around. What do you see? Does it discourage or lift you up? Would you believe that despite how you look at what lies about you, it may be a misdemeanor.

The ocean is a completely different place when you are 100 feet beneath its surface than the body we know from where we stand beside it. When we move away from the sun, we discover how much of it never has the pleasure of enjoying the acquaintance of such a majestic bit of creation. The vast, unsearchable reaches of a domain that wakes up to darkness and falls asleep to blackness. Little difference is detected by the untrained eye, yet it is there.

We may feel certain that nothing could survive in the conditions that you see, but is our Creator thoughtless in what He chooses to expose His creatures to? Does He not know the limitations of every species He has designed with His own hands? Could He form you and sustain for every millisecond until this time, and then lose sight of what confronts you? Would the biggest trial you have ever faced fail to draw His attention? Do we imagine He is so insensitive and inept as our God and Savior?

If we do, our hearts need to be changed; this is not the God that we have been called to love and live out our lives with forever and ever. This is a lie that Satan works day and night to promote through the mystery of every evil He can stir up under the permission of the Father. We must be waken up by the truth, to turn from the deception of our former father — he who lies for a living — and come under the wing of He who lives and declares the truth of His living. And what can affect this alteration but His Word? May we run to it!

God rules: there’s something to shout over! On the double, mainlands and islands—celebrate!

Bright clouds and storm clouds circle ’round him;
Right and justice anchor his rule.

Fire blazes out before him,
Flaming high up the craggy mountains.

His lightnings light up the world;
Earth, wide-eyed, trembles in fear.

The mountains take one look at God
And melt, melt like wax before earth’s Lord.

The heavens announce that he’ll set everything right,
And everyone will see it happen—glorious!

All who serve handcrafted gods will be sorry—
And they were so proud of their ragamuffin gods!

On your knees, all you gods—worship him!
And Zion, you listen and take heart!

Daughters of Zion, sing your hearts out:
God has done it all, has set everything right.

You, God, are High God of the cosmos,
Far, far higher than any of the gods.

God loves all who hate evil,
And those who love him he keeps safe,
Snatches them from the grip of the wicked.

Light-seeds are planted in the souls of God’s people,
Joy-seeds are planted in good heart-soil.

So, God’s people, shout praise to God,
Give thanks to our Holy God!

Psalm 97