I had a conversation with a dear woman recently who is in the depths of a struggle bigger than herself. Just hearing her story tore at my heart. She feels trapped. Alone. Knowing the way out but afraid of falling back into the pit. Fragments of light and truth woo her from the thick darkness, but the pull of that darkness keeps her from moving forward.
Most of us have had variations of that struggle. The tug-of-war in our hearts that holds us back from real, true life and freedom. Addictions of all shapes and sizes, distorted thinking, dysfunctional attitudes or habits, deeply rooted selfishness. Dark cloud covers that block the warmth and beauty and light of an endless sky. Shackles that prevent our hearts from precious freedom.
As this friend and I were talking, the clearest picture of Jesus on the cross came to mind. In those hours of His grueling death, he felt the weight of our sin, but He also felt the darkness of its effects on us. He experienced the prison of the soul, the blackness of desperation, the entrapment of the heart. The crushing effect on his mind, body and spirit, the blackness that separated Him from His Father caused Him to scream out to His Father, “ELI, ELI, LAMA SABACHTHANI?” – “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me??????!!!!!!!” The deepest sense of agony propelling from His gut.
He has felt YOUR pain. YOUR struggle and mine. And He died to nail all of it to tree, killing that which was killing us. He experienced the pit of darkness so that we don’t have to. When He rose from the grave, He brought the life that replaced death, the light that replaced darkness, the solution that replaced the problem.
We still live in a very broken world where spiritual battle is an every day occurrence. But because of Jesus, we’ve been given that same power that raised His very dead body from the grave. Will we tap into that power by relying on His strength in us? Will we focus on that fragment of light and take steps towards it and find that with each step forward the light becomes bigger and brighter and the darkness begins to fade?
We were meant for the light and life and freedom. It suits each and every one of us. And once we experience it we can’t help but want more of it, for ourselves and for others.
The Light, the Power, the Way Out. He is there.
He is waiting….
John 10:10 – The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.
Matthew 27:45-46 – From the sixth hour until the ninth hour darkness came over all the land. About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “”Eloi, Eloi,” “lama” “sabachthani?””–which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
1 John 4:9 – God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him.