Walking in the Dark
By Heather Allen –
Tonight I read a rough draft my daughter is preparing for English class. I read the first paragraph and felt physical pain. So I quit reading and washed dishes. Determined, I went back to the computer, aching, as I read her thoughts about the different moves our family has made.
Our world was rocked hard four years ago. We stood on the brink of winter wondering what to do with life. We were where we wanted to be, where we believed God wanted us, doing what we loved doing. And then the bottom fell out. The verse that rang in my ears was Isaiah 50:10 (NIV), “When you walk in the dark and have no light, trust in the name of the Lord.” It was dark as I struggled to understand why God was allowing such chaos to befall our family.
We did not know where to go or what to do. So we waited. Nothing came. Nothing for months and months turned into three years. Out of the blue a job offer came that required another cross-country move. Our options seemed bleak. With uncertainty we packed our bare necessities and tried the situation for ten long months. And we realized there in our small rental that the call on our lives had not been revoked. So taking a leap, we did what we believe we were last told to do, ten years earlier. We made the move we either did not have the faith to make sooner, or had not seen as a clear option.
My daughter’s essay details her transient, vulnerable life. A life I never would have chosen for her. But then she writes how good God is, and that in the loneliness He is a friend like no other. I nod, mumbling to myself that this is better; her sweet heart knowing it can trust Jesus.
As the days grow shorter and darker, stacks of gifts are growing on my shelf. My thoughts are turned towards celebrating Christ’s birth. In the ongoing days of trying to make new friends and acclimate to our surroundings, I meditate on a much larger move; the word becoming flesh and dwelling among us. On a night so many heartbreaks ago, God became man, Emmanuel. And every thing changed. My mind aches thinking of God living in the frail body of a man. Only God chooses vulnerability. We who lack strength, who are not glorious, see weakness and vulnerability as something to be hidden. Christ loved and allowed others to reject Him. But oh what He does for those who trust Him.
“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh” Ezekiel 36:26 (NIV).
On that night so long ago a star announced His birth: a star, announcing the glory of its Creator. He came knowing He would be despised. But the sin growing in the garden had only one hope of redemption. So the Word became flesh. Before the manger He was the pillar of fire at night. He has always moved despite the instability of our flesh. On this dark night my heart rejoices in a God that intervenes and saves. My heart leaps knowing the darkness will soon be turned to day and the King will again dwell in Israel.
Heather Allen spends most of her time carrying for her hubby and 3 kids. Check out her blog: http://www.thebloodknot.blogspot.com/