Want more than you fear.


Light dawns in the darkness. 

Not after the darkness. Not out of the darkness.  But in the darkness.

There is a mythical person who knows this truth – the scriptures describe this person as the upright, the righteous.  And the upright is not moved.  The upright is not afraid of bad news.

Because the upright knows the glorious, utterly transforming truth that light dawns in the darkness.  

God doesn’t always give us the promises we want.

And if anyone tells you He does, they’re deceitful or foolish.  You want the promise that your child will be healthy.  That your business will thrive.  That your parent will be healed. That you will forgive and that you will be forgiven.  That you will have the husband and the child. That your womb will work.

We want the promise that He will hold back the darkness.  And that doesn’t make us selfish or foolish.  We are not made for darkness, you and I.  We are not designed for it.  It feels deeply wrong for us because we were made for a world without it.

Still, we know the truth: the bad news, the shadows of darkness, are coming for us all.  So we dig deeply, and try to be like the upright – we try not fear the dark.

We are told to trust God, and we try.  We lift our hands on Sundays and we order our hearts to get in line.  Do not fear, we whisper to them.  God is trustworthy, we tell them.  And we try to sing loudly enough to drown out the terrifying scream that comes back: Trustworthy to do what?  He has not promised to protect us from the things we fear.

But the light dawns in the darkness.

If we let the screams sing out along with the worship, we’ll find that we have another voice underneath.  We will find that those of us who are of new hearts – want something more than we fear darkness.

We want the light.

In our right minds, we want Jesus, flooding each and every part of our lives and our children’s lives.

We are so busy running from pain, that we forgot why we know how to run in the first place.  We are made to run towards the light.

We don’t have the promise we want: do not fear because I will keep the darkness from coming for you.  But we have the promise that the thing we fear the most is the way to the thing we want the most: the light dawns in the darkness.  

We have been training, choosing, shifting our lives around to get more of Him because we believe He is valuable.  And now we have this glorious mission – this epic hero’s journey handed to us: if you want Him, you know where He lives. He lives in the darkest pits and the deepest caverns.

Light dawns in the darkness. 

I have taught this truth more times than I can count.  But each new wave of darkness in my life has just made it more real, more true and more terrifying.  It’s not beautiful artwork I can hang on my wall.  It’s not cursive words I can tattoo on my skin.  It is carved into my bones, scarred into my soul.

Light dawns in the darkness. 

So we will not fear bad news.  And I do not type that naively.  I don’t type it because I haven’t tasted true darkness.  I have felt the dark wrap around me so deeply and so thickly that none of us were sure I would survive.  I have been handed a pen by someone who loves me and asked to sign a contract not to kill myself before the day was up.  And I took that pen, in a trembling hand, and signed it while she held the paper steady, and both of us hoped I would survive the night.

I know the power of the darkness and it is no small might.  It can devastate.  It can crush.  It can shred your soul and take from you people and things you  do not know how to live without.  And all of that feels exactly how it sounds, even with Jesus right there holding your hand.

Jesus is not an anisthetic for pain any more than He is a barrier against it.

But I know the limits of the darkness too.

It does not need to pull me into it, kicking and screaming, fighting and fleeing.  I will walk into it when it comes for me next, with clenched fists and a head raised high.  I am not its victim.  It is mine.

I know that while it thinks it’s destroying me, He is remaking me.  I know that all of its deadly force can be harnessed by this new creation that is me.  And I will use all of its pain and all of its terror to get the thing I want most.

The light dawns in the darkness. 

One thought on “Want more than you fear.

  1. Your words feel like my own heart on paper. Thank you for sharing your heart. Please continue to do so – for it’s a greater blessing than you could ever know.

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