Abiding with Jesus

When We’re Afraid of the Dark

This morning as I was feeding my two-year old daughter some cornflakes by the window, where the sunlight reveals all the fingerprints, and where our neighbors ride by on their bikes, I quickly glanced at my phone and discovered what had unfolded while I was sleeping.

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Under the dark skies people killed. Precious blood strewn across streets. Celebration turned massacre.

I fed my daughter her last bite and I went to the kitchen to unload the clean dishes and rinse the dirty ones. Unexpectedly the tears started to flow.

As I put the plates and bowls into the dishwasher I muttered a few quiet prayers. The simple kind, “What?”, “Again?”, “I’m scared God?”, “What is happening?”

I placed forks and spoons in their respective places in the drawer, my lip quivering. There I stood in my kitchen with two, seemingly contradicting desires.

I wanted to fall on my knees, crying, praying, asking the Lord to bring healing to our broken world.

Yet I also wanted to go on with the dishes and my day, hug my kids, wipe countertops, and make my grocery list.

One selfish. One spiritual. 

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Then, I heard Him.

Right there standing on the tile floor with my soapy hands. It’s not the first time He’s spoken to me in the kitchen, but it’s still surprising when He does.

***

Make your whole life a prayer. 

I want you to love your kids today. Read to them. Play with them. Look them in the eyes and tell them how much you enjoy being their mom.

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You can fold the laundry. And make salad. And walk to the grocery store. You can prepare the room for your friends. You can tell stories around the table tonight.

Come to me in the secret place too. Pour out your pain to me. Write down your fears. Sit close and soak in my words.

Make your whole life a prayer.

Underneath the dark skies the world needs to see glimmering stars of my glory in the midst of suffering…walking hope.

***

Jesus’ first breaths were taken in the darkness of night. His presence lit up the pitch black sky. The darkness doesn’t make Him hide. In fact, He sees darkness as an invitation to come.

Ever so slowly I’m realizing what WE ALL need is Hope. But not the easy hope that sits on bookshelves or stays on bible pages. We need the uncomfortable kind of Hope. Hope that is living and walking, in our kitchens and bedrooms, in the streets and the stores. A hope that steps into our tears, our prayers, our quiet times, and our chaotic hearts.

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“Even the darkness is not dark to You. And the night is as bright as the day. Darkness and light are alike to you.” Psalm 139:12

As a little girl, I remember going through a time where I wouldn’t let my dad leave my room until I fell asleep. He had to sit by my bed. I didn’t care what He did, He just had to be there. I didn’t want to be alone at night.

I couldn’t see in the night. It bothered me and made me restless. I imagined the stuff of horror movies even though I’d never seen one.

I requested the door left open and the bathroom light on every evening before bed.

My dad stayed there with me too.

Jesus does the same with us. But we forget. He is with us. Day and night.

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***

 

Night time falls for each one of us. We can’t see. We don’t understand. We imagine the absolute worst. We huddle under the covers and cry.

But God can see in the dark because He is the shining Hope. He is the night light in our bedroom when we’re three, the Father who sits beside us until we peacefully rest our heads, and He is the God whose radiance never fades no matter how eternal the night can feel in this world.

Night and day, our seemingly selfish lives can actually be a sacred prayer and picture of hope. In the loading of the dishwasher, breakfast with our kids, birthday parties, wedding celebrations, through haunting fears, and unspeakable trauma there is a God who stays right beside us.

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And whatever the morning brings, be it news that makes our heart sick or breakfast with our bright-eyed toddler, we can know that Hope has His arms securely wrapped around us.

Our whole lives become a prayer, day and night, because Hope doesn’t hesitate to make the seemingly selfish so very sacred.

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Verses For You to Explore:

Psalm 130: 5-6, Psalm 139:12, John 1: 1-18, Romans 5:2-7, Colossians 3:17 + 23

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