Isn’t it interesting how when you state something like I did in my last entry about being still and peaceful, doubt and discouragement don’t waste any time to come knocking? The night after I wrote that post I couldn’t sleep. This happens more these days and people tell me it’s “that time of life”, it will get better. But this night felt worse. I laid in bed and began to doubt myself and God’s “working all things together for good”.
I thought I should get up, but had a niggling fear: If I get up and wait for the Lord, what if He just doesn’t show up or I can’t hear in the deafening silence and feel utterly alone. After all, God has a lot bigger things to worry about than just my little problems…. There is so much pain and suffering in the world…I know its not all about me. The longer I waited, laying there in the dark, the worse I felt. I told myself that God is with me even when I don’t feel like it, but sometimes we have to step out in faith. So I got up to find light in the darkness.
That day I had decorated the mantle for Christmas, and this year included the Mother of Tenderness icon I painted and candles. In the dark I lit a match, light coming into my darkness. The words “Immanuel, God with us” “The Light of the World” came to my mind, reminding me that Jesus came into our darkness to transform our lives, our very souls.
The whole atmosphere changed to a soft glow as the candles were lit. Honestly, I didn’t feel any different, but as I waited, working through disappointments and worries, trying to listen, a measure of comfort entered my heart. The faint silver dawn was rising on the horizon outside. The candles were blown out. And I settled into a peaceful nap on the couch until the rest of the household woke up.
“O Christ Jesus, when all is darkness and we feel our weakness and helplessness,
give us a sense of your presence, your love, and your strength.
Help us to have perfect trust in your protecting love and strengthening power,
so that nothing may frighten or worry us, for,
living close to you we shall see your hand,
your purpose, your will through all things.”
– Ignatius of Loyola 1491-1556
images & text except otherwise quoted copyright Valerie Sjodin 2010