My precious Daddy often repeated Thomas Fuller's famous quote:
"The darkest hour is just before the dawn."
Daddy never knew it was Thomas Fuller's original quote. Neither did I. In fact, for many years I thought it was Daddy's original.
I never realized how encouraging this quote could be; until, after experiencing some really dark times in my adult personal life and finding myself in need of light and direction. Time and time again, this quote has lifted my head in expectancy, reminding me of a much needed truth...
Dawn is coming...
In this 2020 year, I think most of us would agree, we need encouragement. We need to be reminded that everything is going to be alright. But, more than encouragement
WE NEED TRUTH!
There's a special kind of light truth delivers. Giving us the ability to be wise in the moments that matter most. Making good decisions when the world tells us to compromise. Enabling us to land in an upright position when life has, seemingly, been flipped upside down.
We need light to help us find our way.
No doubt, the years since 2020 seem darker and more uncertain than years before. Perhaps, because this is the first-time our generation has experienced a World-wide Pandemic with economical and personal ripple effects.
So many questions.
So little answers.
So little gain.
So much loss.
Loss of jobs.
Loss of self-made businesses.
Loss of community.
Loss of connection.
Loss of face-to-face intimacy with people who matter.
And, for some, 2020's darkness looks like..
Loss of joy.
Loss of hope.
Loss of Loved Ones.
Loss of personal desire to live.
It's easy to slip into the DOOM and GLOOM mentality the World of Social Media and our National News offers. We find ourselves wondering: Is there truth to be found - anywhere?
When truth is hard to find, we can be the truth!
Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." _ John 14.6
Because each of us are hard-wired for truth (having been created in the image of God) Still, each of us responds differently to situations around us and I'm pretty sure: None of us are unscathed by all that's happening in the world.
Here's a few practical ways I combat the lies to remain standing in the light of truth:
Being aware of what I watch on Social Media, etc...
Monitor how long I watch the News.
Before drawing any information into myself I need to ask: "Lord, is this truth?"
Mindfully move away from dead conversations pulling me away from the light and into darkness.
Be aware of mental, physical, and emotional effects of too many voices masking as truth.
Remove myself from chaos to experience God's peace.
Seek God's voice of truth for responding wisely to uncontrollable situations.
Be careful; because, just when you think you are handling life better - another event will spring up - tempting you to get sucked into the crazy dark hole of despair.
Just this week, I read one of the most Dooms-Day projections for the up and coming Winter Season:
"We are facing a dark Winter."
Let me be clear, this blog has nothing to do with political agendas; but, if I'm honest, it's discouraging to hear leaders of nations projecting a 'dark winter.'
HOW DEPRESSING IS THAT?
Far from my Daddy's "The darkest hour is just before Dawn" mentality.
Ya'll, you guys know me, by now. I'm the girl who writes about courage! But, as I read this National headline, my old familiar fears and future concerns began creeping in with dread.
Who knew, scientifically speaking, it is absolutely not darkest before the dawn? In fact, the brightness of the night sky varies depending on the Moon's artificial lighting on the ground and its appearance. At this time, it is darker before the dawn simply because the moon cannot be seen.
But, God does not vary and will faithfully reveal the light of the world, His one and only Son, Jesus, to you! He can be found at all times, day or night.
"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have eternal life." _ John 3:16
This week, if you feel the darkness closing in around you, reposition yourself to focus on these radiant truths:
1. We have not been left in the dark!
"In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it." _John 1:4,5 NIV
2. We are people who have been privileged to not only live in the light but to willingly invite The Light of the World to live within us.
"True light that gives light to every man was coming into the world." _John 1:9 NIV
The light of the World, Jesus, never leaves us in the dark. He is Dawn's Radiant Light!
3. Once we've invited Christ to live inside of us there can be no darkness pulling us down to despair.
"God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all." _1 John 1:5
3. We do not need to live as spiritually blind people. In Christ the darkness can never overcome the light.
"I create the light and make the darkness." _Isaiah 45:7-8
With God's light and truth inside of you - you are a force to be reckoned with!
And you thought you were hopeless and helpless?
In Him, there is protection. "He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge." _Psalm 91:4
In Him, there is safety. "The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him." _Psalm 28:7
In Him, there is peace. "The peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." _Philippians 4:7
In Him, there is purpose. "I cry out to God Most High, to God who fulfills his purpose for me." _Psalm 57:2
In Him, there is future. "Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." _Philippians 1:6
So, where will you be found in this projected "dark" Winter, friend?
The darkest hour really is just before, Jesus, Heaven's Dawn, makes His home inside of us! _LRM
Are you open?
No matter what comes...You can reposition yourself to standing position.
While the rest of the world is running crazy in confusion, fear, doubt, and hopelessness - you can be found STANDING (confidently) IN THE LIGHT of God's love, whispering:
"Here I am, Lord. I don't know what's going to happen today, tomorrow, or the next; but, In the midst of chaos, I choose to STAND here, in YOUR PEACEFUL, BRILLIANT PRESENCE.."
"Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now STAND. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so but we also glory in our sufferings because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not shame, because God's love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. You see, at just the right time, when we were powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. " _Romans 5:1-8 NIV