It’s after 10pm as I write this, Greg’s been out for the past 6 hours and our power has been out for the last 3 hours. I’m not sure why the power went out except that maybe the foreign music and a foreign voice currently blaring over loud speakers for some kind of party that’s unfortunately reverberating through my dark and quiet home blew out everyone’s power but their own. What’s more unfortunate is that I don’t think our power is coming back on until sometime tomorrow morn. Just another reminder that I don’t live in America.
Three hours ago Max (almost 4), Charlie (2 and a half) and I were flying our paper airplanes through the house when everything went dark. And I mean I can’t see my hand 2 inches from my face kind of dark. I happened to be standing next to our front door so I quickly opened it expecting the moonlight to spill in but nothing appeared. Hmm, must be cloudy or smoggy out tonight.
As insignificant as this may seem, not two hours earlier I was helping Max look for a toy when I happened to find our only flashlight, which went missing months ago, hidden underneath the boys’ dresser. I grabbed it and put it in my husband’s little wooden box atop our dresser and went back about my business of locating this little toy Max was begging me to find. So sweet to me the thought of God’s love towards me that He orchestrated this incident of finding the flashlight to prepare me for tonight. I’m still in wonder over the fact that God was in this little detail.
At this point Charlie was getting hysterical, my little Max stayed calm the entire time. Man, what a little stud. My brain managed to stay calm enough to think clearly probably because I’m a mom now (but that definitely wasn’t the case pre children). I grabbed both boys’ hands and I walked them to my bedroom and then to the dresser. Relief flooded over Charlie, and, truth be told, came over me as well. I don’t like complete darkness. I suppose it would have eventually dawned on me at some point to retrieve the boys iPad from their bedroom to use as a source of light.
Interestingly enough, I was studying with my language teacher earlier today and we were discussing Psalm 23, “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want….”. He asked me if I’ve ever experienced the “valley” of darkness or the “valley of the shadow of death”. I paused to think for a moment. How could I explain to him all the valleys of darkness I had been through since we have two major barriers separating us from fully understanding each other: language and culture. Would he be able to make sense of my broken Indonesian along with my very different upbringing and way of life?
I wasn’t sure where to start so I just I began my best to try and explain how I have had a tendency with every one of my pregnancies to sink into a depression for the duration of my first trimester. My body would become ill, my motivation would wane, and my soul would become dark. I’d have no interest in reading the bible so wouldn’t and then I’d be eaten up by guilt. Hope seemed to slip away from me and I would literally be such a mess for Greg.
That seemed so benign as I was explaining that to my teacher so from there I jumped into the story of my childhood. I told him how my 3 sisters and I were raised by our single mother. Our mom only worked part time so that she could be home with us after school. That meant we didn’t have much money, we didn’t have much food, sometimes our power would go out if the bills weren’t payed, but all those times God was always with us providing for all our needs so that we were never in want-even by bringing a new father into our lives some years later.
And even this still seems so small compared to the loss others have faced greater than my own. I just met a woman whose 2 year old daughter has leukemia. I have a friend who was molested by her own grandfather, My brother-in-law had to live with his grandparents growing up because neither of his own parents were fit to nor wanted to care for him. My sister-in-law lost her dear father to cancer.
So many different happenings carry our souls into the darkest of nights. All hope seems to slip away as the sun sinks below the clouded horizon. The moonlight and twinkling stars are hidden away by the black clouds. Our sorrows descend like rain. Thunder begins to rumble and we are overcome with doubt and despair.
Darkness presses in on every side of us, but God has not left us alone. Lightning breaks forth across the sky and He makes his presence known. He is the LIGHT and He shines in the darkness and the darkness CANNOT overcome Him.
Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God. (Psalm 42:11)
In our darkest hours God enables us to see His glory like the crack of a lightning bolt, if only for a moment, that we may behold Him who pierces the darkness, and that our hope may be restored.
Be anchored in the truth that God is not far off but right here with you. Praise Him whether or not you can find a reason until you see Him flash His glory across your dark sky then let that revive your hope and trust in Him for today.
It’s 4:30am and our power has just turned back on!