Below, you’ll find words in bolded, italicized blue. These are
lyrics from the song “I Still Believe” by Jeremy Camp
I’ve always been afraid of the dark.
When I was a little girl I would run out of a room anytime we had to turn the lights off, to get back to where there was light.
The light felt safe. It was comforting and brought happiness. It made things feel warm and like everything was okay.
And yet, lately in life things haven’t felt like they’re okay. Not at all. They’ve felt dark.
Scattered words and empty thoughts
Seem to pour from my heart…
Perhaps you’ve felt it too?
I’m not just talking about the global pandemic that has shook 2020. In part I am. But if we’re honest, there are so many moments of our lives that feel dark. Maybe you’ve had moments in the last 30 days that have felt dark and scary, even when they have nothing to do with a virus.
We have these dark, broken, frightening moments more than we’d like to admit.
I’ve felt it recently. This past week has felt like it’s trying its hardest to get me to tremble in the darkness and try to run away as fast I can towards light, just like when I was young.
I’ve tried to make sense of brokenness and darkness and questions that don’t always have answers. And I’ve tried desperately to form words to what my heart is aching with, but the scattered thoughts in my head only leave me with more questions.
Maybe you relate too.
But it’s now that I feel Your grace fall like rain
From every fingertip washing away my pain
In 2 Corinthians 12, Paul has a problem.
He has a hurt in his life that doesn’t quite make sense to him.
And he wrestles with it and he begs God–three times–to just take it away. To remove this thorn–this pain. And my first reaction would be to assume God will take it away. After all, He is a good God, so why wouldn’t He take this problem away?
But He doesn’t.
“Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time He said, ‘My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.’” (2 Corinthians 12:8-9a)
This doesn’t make sense to my heart at first. This didn’t seem to take care of Paul’s problem. It certainly didn’t take away the pain.
But maybe… maybe my focus is in the wrong place.
And perhaps He was healing Paul in places he never knew he needed to heal.
Because our God doesn’t see things as we do. (Isaiah 55:8) He sees the whole puzzle while we only have one small piece that doesn’t always make sense to us.
And His grace? His grace can heal the broken places of our lives that we never realized we needed Him to touch because our focus was on the wrong thing.
In brokenness I can see
That this was Your will for me
Help me to know that You are near
Yet even in trying to shift my focus to His, I’m still left with questions… questions like, if He has a good plan why all the pain? Why the darkness I’m seemingly walking through every day?
I read verses like Jeremiah 29:11 which says, “For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord. ‘They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.’” And now I’m confused. Because I don’t know about you, but goodness, can my life feel like a disaster sometimes. We see this verse everywhere–bookmarks, journals, wall art, you name it.
And we think it means that if He has good plans, the plans are going to feel good.
But we’re wrong.
You see, this promise was given by God to the people of Judah when they’d been carried away into Babylon captivity. And surrounding this one verse, these people are being told that they’ll be in this captivity for seventy years. Can you imagine? Most of them would never see the day they were freed from this captivity.
And if you asked them in that moment if God’s plans felt good, they probably would’ve given a confident no. But God never promised that His plans would always feel good, or that they’d always make sense to us, or that we’d see the whole picture. No… He simply promised that He had good in store, even when it wasn’t going to feel good for awhile.
We can hold to the promise that God is so good, all the time. And therefore what He has for me is good, even when nothing about it feels good at all. And in every moment He has not left me or you. He walks through it all with us.
And the best part?
“Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, ‘I am the Light of the world. If you follow Me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.” (John 8:12)
We walk with the only One who can bring us true light, no matter how dark the world around us seems.
I still believe in Your faithfulness
I still believe in Your truth
I still believe in Your holy Word
So therefore I have hope. You have hope.
And I can believe… He hasn’t left us.
I know His faithfulness. I know who He is. And I believe… He is still good, even here. Even in pain we sometimes beg God to just take away because we don’t understand it. It’s okay to wrestle with it. To ask the questions.
But sometimes the only answer is that He is God and we still believe in who He is.
Even when we don’t understand or see. Even when it doesn’t make sense. Even if we don’t get the answers we pray for.
We still believe in His love for us, because nothing in this world–no pain, no darkness, no grief, no disappointment, no virus–can ever, ever separate us from that love.
And that’s something we can always believe in, no matter the road we’re walking. Look up, friends. We don’t walk alone in the dark.
Even when I don’t see… I still believe
“And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow–not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below–indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.”