Devotional: In the Darkness

I read a book recently called Shattered Dreams, by Larry Crabb. I know, that sounds a bit depressing, but it really made me think.  The main idea is that God sometimes lets our desires go unmet so that He can help us discover that our deepest desire is not actually convenience, health, wealth, or even good relationships—but God Himself.   He sometimes lets nearly everything get stripped from us, even at the risk of our faith, so that we can find that He is the only thing left standing in the rising smoke and settling ashes.  We don’t always see Him right away, but as we wait in the quiet darkness, He is there.  Through the lens of suffering, God comes into focus, and we discover an unquenchable desire for Him—and only Him.

You may be in a time of darkness right now.  May God give you courage and patient endurance as He does some of His greatest work in you.  The night is long, but the morning is coming.  Don’t be afraid to ask for support—or to keep asking if it’s hard to find.

You may not be in a time of darkness, but most of us know someone who is.  We can’t usually make sense of it for them, but we can listen and encourage their honest pursuit of Jesus in the middle of the mess.  We can allow them to go through whatever emotions they need to go through, to be angry or sad, to take a really long time to heal if they need to, and yes, even to struggle with doubt.  Most importantly, we can pray for them, and if they are open to it, pray with them.

I think the song “Keep Making Me,” by a band called Sidewalk Prophets, expresses so well the prayer of someone who has discovered their growing desire for Jesus:

Make me broken
So I can be healed
‘Cause I’m so calloused
And now I can’t feel
I want to run to You
With heart wide open
Make me broken
In the Darkness
Make me empty
So I can be filled
‘Cause I’m still holding
Onto my will
And I’m completed
When you are with me
Make me empty

[Chorus:]
‘Til You are my one desire
‘Til You are my one true love
‘Til You are my breath, my everything
Lord, please keep making me

Make me lonely
So I can be Yours
‘Til I want no one
More than You, Lord
‘Cause in the darkness
I know You will hold me
Make me lonely

 

 

*Twice a month, we send out a short devotional to our volunteers.  This one was written by Andrea Keele, and was sent out on July 15, 2014.

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