Grace in the Dark

graceBut you are a chosen people, royal priests, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession. You were chosen to tell about the wonderful acts of God, who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. (1 Peter 2:9)

Ponder It.

  • When have you experienced oppressing or frightening darkness?
  • How has darkness intrigued you in a situation? How has darkness frightened you?
  • What is a shadowy area of your life that needs God’s grace?

Receive It. Grace meets us in the darkness, which can be a frightening place. The night-time can be beautiful, but most of its beauty comes from the results of a light source. We see the aura of the moon or the twinkling of the starts; we see the patterns of glistening light as the moon shines catches water drops or fluttering leaves. Most of us don’t live somewhere that is void of light. Even if we close ourselves into a dark room, it’s difficult to shut out all light sources, and if we do, as we sit in pitch blackness, we see, with any certainty…nothing. Spiritually, when we’re in the dark, we are disoriented. What we think we see isn’t accurate. The darkness can seem oppressive. We can even get to the point where there is something comforting in the darkness, because we don’t have to deal with what’s in the light. We can begin to fear the reality of the light more than the uncertainty of the dark. Once we find comfort in where we are, we don’t want to leave even though we cannot fully see, live, or move in the dark. That’s where grace meets us if we’re willing to reach out. We don’t need to see what we’re reaching for; we simply have to know to whom we’re reaching. When we call out to God, no matter what is going on in our lives, God hears us and meets us. He often doesn’t immediately or completely rescue and restore us. Restoration is a process that includes preparation for what’s to come. We need steps in order to experience and appreciate how God reveals himself to us. We need his timing, not our preferences. And we always need his grace no matter where we are. As long as we live on earth, there will be areas—whether large gaps or tiny spaces—that are dark. God reaches into the dark, shadowy spaces and sprinkles his grace. And we’re able to see what he wants us to see…if we’re willing to fully open our eyes and hearts.

Live It. Find a dark space. Close your eyes, trying to shut out all light for a full minute. Before opening your eyes, ask God to call attention to the dark places in your life, then respond by inviting his grace to consume those spaces.

Words to the Wise

blindfoldThe Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for wisdom. (1 Kings 3:10)

Solomon asked for wisdom so he could lead his people well, know the difference between right and wrong, and understand people’s hearts. God was pleased with Solomon’s request, so He gave him what he asked.

We often proceed without wisdom…or at least, without God’s wisdom. We rely on and trust ours more. We’ve become accustomed to saying, “I don’t see anything wrong with it” without taking a good look at what God thinks about something, setting aside our assumptions. Perhaps we don’t think He’s interested in the issue, but God has interest in everything we do, say, and think. He is invested in our lives. Instead of forging ahead if we don’t see something wrong with what we’re doing, thinking, or feeling, try flipping the question and ask, “What’s right with it?”

God’s wisdom isn’t human wisdom. When we mix a little of God’s truth with a lot of stuff we learn from everyone around us, we become as disoriented as a blindfolded child trying to pin the tail on the donkey. We begin to rationalize that something is “kind of truth,” because it looks a little like truth. There’s no hybrid truth with God.

God pours Himself into you because He wants you to fully know him. He wants you to discern what’s of Him and what’s of the world, what’s okay to turn away from and what you need to face head on, when you need to speak up and when you need to be quiet.

The wisdom Solomon requested was God’s wisdom, which can only come from God and is fully intended to glorify God. If we ask and accept, the Holy Spirit will give us this guidance and wisdom to live every moment of every day to glorify God.

Commit every decision you make today to God, asking for and trusting His guidance.