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Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Christians: Embrace the Darkside

Relax, this has nothing to do with Star Wars. I am looking forward to writing a post sometime in "Yoda-ese" (Shelter from the storm, you seek!), but that's not what I'm talking about now.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 gives that famous passage about a time for everything--birth, death, plant, uproot, kill, heal, silence, speech, mourn and dance...and more. Do I really buy all that?

I walk through a Christian bookstore and I am inundated with thoughts about "Your Best Life Now" and urged to embrace great fulfillment here on earth. It seems that only in the classic authors am I encouraged to embrace pain. Do I ever mourn? Do I run from negative emotion and situations? Do I really believe that there is a time to accept and live in the midst of pain?

The last two weeks have in many ways been the hardest weeks of my life. I've been cast into an incredibly dark situation and been forced to have some very difficult conversations. I'm usually a light guy who loves to laugh and just have fun. I love to get deeper, but mostly enjoy to keep things on a positive note. There has been no way to do so with this conversation. It's dark. It's painful. It's heavy and breaks my heart. It's hard to see that a situation where someone else caused pain has forced me to have conversations that have also caused pain. But those conversations weren't wrong. Though I read Scripture and Charity and I have searched our hearts, sought other council and know we are doing the right thing, the pain causes us to question whether we're really doing right. But pain is not the ultimate gauge.

Everything about my flesh wanted to run from the last two weeks. I wanted to ignore it and just hope it would go away. I wanted to just try to smile, put it in the past and assume that's the Christian thing.

Here's the amazing thing...I've never felt peace like now. For all I know, these conversations have radically changed the life that Charity and I will experience with some other people; it may never be the same again. But I'm OK with that. Other relationships have grown deeper, gotten stronger. I feel like my relationship with my wife has gone to a whole new level. I feel closer to my children. I am closer to my Savior.

"God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all" (I John 1:5b). The darkness is not God. The darkness is not of God. It comes from being in a sin filled world. Some of it, I bring on myself. Some, like this situation, is brought on us by others. But because it is not of God nor from God, nor God Himself, does not mean that He is not there. The purity and radiance of His Light is all the more beautiful to me, as it's been contrasted with the darkness here in the world.

I have learned not to flee from pain. But that in the pain, even before it's taken away, the Healer is there.

He truly is Wonderful!


  • At 4:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Pain is not the enemy. Pain is a tool God uses to shape us. Satan offers many avenues to numbness.

    God never wastes pain. If that wasn't true than we could not say that God is good. When God allows pain it is always the least painful effective way for Him to accomplish His will. The goal is to redeem the situation that brought the pain.

    Call if you want or need to.


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