Bear the Darkness Away

The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up.  Matthew4:16

The sky is bright blue outside this coffee house in the Pacific Northwest.  My beautiful granddaughter, Addie, is visiting us for the weekend.  My bills are paid. My church is well.  My family is healthy.  My dog loves me.  And yet my heart is very heavy.

Last week I tried to help someone search their soul to find out the source of their mis-alignment with God.  A few days ago that person drank themselves into a stupor.  Another person finally admitted to me this week that they were an alcoholic and asked if I knew of recovery program that wasn’t based on religion.  Another friend of 15 years confessed that they had been unfaithful to their marriage vows and a twenty-seven year marriage is teetering on a precipice of suicide plunge.

Our house was burglarized.  Nothing of high value was stolen, but the sense of desperate energy and contempt for the private property was palpable in our home.  We flea bombed the place the next day.

I wrote a controversial blog article about assault weapons and some in the Christian community sent me communications that all but questioned my salvation.  Some of those bruise are still visible on my soul.

DSC03658

From inside Marble Caves

There is so much darkness in this world that it sometimes tries to dim the light.  And, if I am not careful I can look so deeply into the abyss and feel darkness come across my heart like a cloud-shadow across a valley floor.

As a Christ follower it is a tight wire act to walk in this world and be present with others in their dark place and not have some of that play across your own heart.

“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”  Galatians 6:2

And the dark shadow of my own heart is always with me.  I can’t escape it.  I will battle this personal dimness until I pass from this life into the next and see Him face-to-face.  My ego throbs like thumb that has been slammed in a car door.

I relate to King David when he says, “…my sin is ever before me.

So, back to this heaviness in my heart on this beautiful day, what do I do with it?  Do I medicate it with some chocolate?  A beer?  Distract it with some activity?  No.

I pray it back to God.  He is more concerned with the darkness of this world than I am and better equipped to deal with it by far.  I carry it to him and leave it there.

Maybe you should go with me.

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6 thoughts on “Bear the Darkness Away

  1. I am preparing to lead a group for women that are in transition from being in a relationship to building a new life alone. In order to do this effectively I feel the need to retrace my steps through this process by looking at old journals and going back over scriptures that spoke to me. In a way it feels a little like reliving the experience and I find it leaves my heart heavy. But…there is joy in the morning! God has so blessed my life and I can share a praise with these women that GREAT IS HIS FAITHFULNESS!

    Thanks for helping me put a finger on my feelings of heavy heart, this too will pass.
    Mom

  2. Man, you are right on. I feel your pain and heavy heart. I see darkness way too much down at the men’s shelter. But I do see God fighting the battle down there too. Jesus said there will always be the poor. So its a battle that will never end till Jesus comes back…

  3. Pastor Joe, I have been in a similar place and it’s a difficult place to be. But as you would tell us, God is in this place, doing what He does and He is still in control. So we pray and then we pray some more and then we thank God for what He is doing and for what He wants to do. God is with you and there are many who are walking with you in prayer. I am with you in prayer. Thank you for always being so honest in sharing with us. You are loved.
    -Lynette Rose

  4. Back in the early 80’s I was privileged to know and train with a few Vietnam Vets that survived a prison camp and the strength of the mind it took not to live in the darkness of imprisonment but by the simple freedom to look up at the sky and see the light of day was enough to keep going on each day.

  5. I love your honesty, Pastor Joe. That is rhe reason that I come back to Restoration Church. As there are obvious areas that I agree with you on as much as I disagree in other areas. Put it this I have never owned a gun nor shot one of any bigger caliber than a bee- bee gun. But I am surely for gun rights and am never a supporter of any gun control bill (I don’t like the NRA as they have supported a good number of gun control bills) I am going to be a member of GOA- Gun Owners of America, it never has supported any gun control bill. In the future I do purchase my first gun (though guns scare me). As for your friend I would just give that friend up to his sin and don’t let him be your burdened soul, because he obviously is living in sin and wants you to justify him. He doesn’t have your best intentions in mind. As he obviously is not of Christ’s mind nor bearing any the Holy Spirit in his life. I have people in my life who act and are as similar in their actions as your friend. I leave them over to their sin, as not to be part of any type of co- dependant. It is a hard road to hold for you. For my compassion is for you, your friend needs to learn compassion. Anyway, God, guns, and gold and be faithful my brother.

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