Thursday, September 9, 2010

Never doubt in the darkness what you know in the light

I thought I had written a post with this same name a long time ago, but I couldn't find it back so I'm just going to pretend it never existed.

We are right on the cusp of ALL sorts of exciting things with buying a house, moving downtown, starting new ministry directions etc . . . However, therein lies the root of the problem: we are still on the cusp. And I feel like we've just been sitting here on the cusp for sweet forever. Being in a place of waiting, it's easy to get discouraged and starting doubting our calling and our chosen path. I'm entirely too quick to get down on myself, and the Enemy knows my weaknesses. He preys on them; after all, he's like a roaring lion, waiting to devour us.

And because he knows our weaknesses, I have had 'one of those weeks.' Some junk happened that made me question my choice of ministry, my work in the ministry, and my ability to do this ministry -- not to mention questioning whether I'm totally crazy and only think that people might like me when really they all hate me and talk about me behind my back all the time (what do you mean? I'm not susceptible to believing lies or being melodramatic at all). And then Jayci cried the entire time at preschool, and is being pretty disobedient and constantly whiny at home, making me question my ability to be a good mom. I've been short of patience, and NOT walking in Truth.

And that's exactly where the problems start, when I let myself forget the Truth about myself, about my identity, about our calling. And unfortunately, it happens nearly every time things get a little tough. In other words, whenever things get dark.

When I was in high school, I had the most amazing women who mentored me and poured their life into mine. They have no idea, I'm sure, how often I am reminded of and transformed by TRUTH that they shared with me. This week, I keep remembering something one of my mentors always told me: never doubt in the dark what you know in the light. Because in the light I know who I am: loved, chosen, cherished, equipped . . . But in the dark? I start doubting these things. And I need to stop doing that, y'all. Particularly because the inner-city? Isn't a particularly light-filled place. In fact, I'd venture to say that the darkness has a pretty good hold there (mostly because those who are supposed to be salt and light aren't there . . . but that's another soapbox for another day).

It's funny, really, because this week I've felt attacked and dark and down, and yet the Lord has continually been reminding me of the exact Truth I need to hear. Today, even, I read three or four things, and listened to a podcast that all said the same thing: darkness amplifies light. Light shines brighter in the darkness. And that's what I need to remember and rest in: The TRUTH I know in the Light of Christ, and the blessing it is to have the opportunity to be Light to those who are still living in darkness.

I wanted to share with you a few of the passages, blogs, etc that impacted me today (mostly because they say it far better than I ever could with this rambling, entirely too long, post). I hope you leave as encouraged as I have been.

"I will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the LORD, the God of Israel, who summons you by name." Isaiah 45:3

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Maybe it's this: God hides with the poor and in the pain and we can only witness Him at His most beautifully creative work in the places needing redemption.

Maybe we are only at our most beautiful work in the same places too --- the places where we don't hide behind the distractions of stuff, where we finally empty our hands of all our possessions and idols and come to God empty and ready. The places where we can make art with tears.
(from here)
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When we are up against the wall, when our resources are gone and our hope is dwindling and the odds are mounted high all around us, God gets to step in.

And he gets to shine brightest when the night is darkest.

That’s what he did with Moses.

In Exodus 7:3-5, God lays out his plan.

“But I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and though I multiply my miraculous signs and wonders in Egypt, he will not listen to you. Then I will lay my hand on Egypt and with mighty acts of judgment I will bring out my divisions, my people the Israelites. And the Egyptians will know that I am the LORD when I stretch out my hand against Egypt and bring the Israelites out of it.”

Those are difficult words to hear when you find yourself lost in the land of the impossible, because God is promising it is going to get even harder.

You think it was bad making bricks all day as a slave? I’m going to harden Pharaoh’s heart and he’ll force you to also find the hay to make the bricks from here on out.

You think I’ve been loud before? I’m going to multiply my miraculous signs and wonders in Egypt, but he still won’t listen. It’s going to take “mighty acts of judgment,” not tiny acts, but mighty acts. And it’s going to be hard. The night will be dark. The skies will fill with hurt when the firstborns die in Egypt, but then, only then, will the Egyptians know that I am the Lord when I stretch out my hand against Egypt and bring the Israelites out of it.

I think God brings us to the land of the impossible because it shines us. It reveals his glory in a way that shallow water never could. Nations are rarely swayed through tiny domestic miracles. Families are rarely changed through quiet acts of wonder. And Moses knew this. In Exodus 33:16-17, he asks God, “How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?”

In the next chapter God answers him as he makes Moses’ face radiant. It literally glows with the glory of God. It physically, tangibly lights up with the wonder and awe of the Lord. This, this is how we will be distinguished from all other people on the face of the earth, in how we reflect God’s glory.

The night will get dark. You will try to be a loving parent to a teenager who does not seem to love you back. You will stand in the gap between love and divorce and it will feel impossible. You will lose a job that you thought you’d always have. You will face opportunities that feel like mountains.

And when you are there, when you stand in that place, you will shine. For God’s glory. For his name. For his might and power, you will shine.

Because in God’s economy, the impossible is a gift, not a curse.

And it always amplifies God’s glory.

(from here)

9 comments:

  1. You put it so well Becca! And let me tell you, I know I've said it a little before, but I have been thinking about you so much, and have talked with my Hubby many times about how AWESOME I think you are, and your ministry is, and how awesome you are at it (and he agrees :))! You have really been on my heart and I have been meaning to ask you how we can donate to your ministry, Hubby and I would love to do that. Big hugs, because you rock, all around!

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  2. Hey Becca - I'm tellin ya....I NEED SUNGLASSES WHEN I'M AROUND YOU AND ADAM!!!! Keep up the great work and continue listening ONLY to Him. Love you! Debi

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  3. Oh, Becca..praying for you. Just keep your eyes on the truth when those lies try to creep in. Love ya! :)

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  4. Ok- I hope this comes out well. It is only going to get harder. The other side of the cusp will make you question even more what God calls you to. I think it is why Paul talks about learning contentment in every single aspect of life. There is just no place that isn't hard. Don't doubt that when you walk into ministry in the city that it is like walking into the devil's playground in so many ways. HOWEVER- that is to say that the time spent is ALWAYS WORTH IT. We will not see (just like your mentors may not have) on this side of eternity the difference we make. But- read Joshua 3. God tells Joshua to go across to the promised land. He tells him to cross in FLOOD SEASON. Then the priests have to go first. They stand there the WHOLE TIME that literally MILLIONS of Israelites cross. with water pushed back on either side, having to trust what God said. This week those priests jumped off the page at me. We want to be them. Running into the flood water. Standing in the Gap so that an entire nation of people can get to the promised land. Never forget FOURTY YEARS is a long time to be wandering around. Caleb and Joshua must have thought it would never happen. Then on the other side started the battles for their land. The war to purge the land started on the other side. The glory is supposed to shine and shine. We can't hide it like Moses tried to.

    Take a deep breath. Remember that you are NOT a BAD MOM... (Just cuz we're in ministry doesn't mean we get the perfect kids :) OH HOW I KNOW that one) Kids spell love T I M E ( in the city and in life) and as hard as it is remember that they are testing you to see if you will take off. It isn't personal. They have been abandoned by so many.

    Ok- too many words. Praying and praying for you. Let the love of Christ keep washing over you.....

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  5. Amen sister...

    we get so confused & lied to in that darkness... but hanging onto that light!!!!

    Love all your wisdom here!!! Its holding onto all you are learning & really applying it that makes such a difference... keep SPEAKING OF THE LIGHT friend!!!

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  6. I saved this to read when I had time to really read it, instead of skimming like I typically do w/ blogs during the day but I'm so glad I did. This is what I needed to read. Thanks, from one hanging out in the cusp to another.

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  7. You two are amazing. Don't let the junk around you get you down, because you are meant to do amazing things! I've been thinking about you girl and will continue to do so. You guys are in my prayers as you work to make these decisions.

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  8. I like what SuperSpy said because I want to be PollyAnna and say that it's all going to be great and roses but that's a lie because while God will accomplish what He will accomplish, we don't know that He'll accomplish it while you skip through the field picking daisies and singing "Kumbaya".

    I whisper that phrase to myself in the darkness until I find the light many times. I also remind myself that He redeems the fallow years.

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  9. I am praying for you. Praying. Praying. Praying.

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