Tuesday, April 28, 2015

In Your Darkest Moments

Five years ago today Micah had a metabolic crisis. We woke up to a cold-to-the-touch, impossible-to-rouse five day old. We ended the day in the waiting room of a children's hospital an hour away. I have so many memories of that day that I avoid thinking about most of the time. But today I consider them all. Here's the one that sticks out the most.  (The picture is Micah in the local emergency room before he was flown to a children's hospital.)

The hallway was cold and empty. At the end I could see the swinging double doors that led to the neonatal intensive care unit. The fluorescent lights illuminated the not-quite-clean floor and the noise faded away. I realized that we were going to lose Micah. He was going to die from this. Whatever it was he had was going to kill him. With shallow breaths I made a statement in my heart that shaped everything that happened afterwards.

I told God that He could have my baby. 

Of course it wasn't up to me but I did have a choice in how to respond to what His plan was. I told God that I didn't know how I would make it- I would have to have His help- but Micah was His.

Later that night in a tiny room I continued reading the next Psalm. I read Psalm 139. If you haven't ever read it go read it. And think about what I just told you while you read it. 

God understands all about me (v. 1-4). God goes with me (v. 5-10). And of course there's the famous verses about God creating us in the womb (v. 13-16).

But what stuck with me were the verses in between. Verses 11 and 12 say, "If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me. Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee." 

That was darkness for me. It was covering me, pulling me under with questions and fears and an unknown future. But God said that even that night could be light- was light- to Him. To God the night shines as the day does. 

God was not in heaven wringing His hands saying, "Oh, what have I done? How am I going to fix this?" He was calm, in control, moving steadily with His plan. He could see just as clearly in that fierce-to-me darkness as He could on my brightest day. He was not blinded by the situation. 

This is the God we serve. In Isaiah chapter four, a dark situation has just been described. Take a few minutes and read chapters 2-4. Did you see what it said about God in those trying times? "In that day shall the branch of the Lord be beautiful and glorious," (Isaiah 4:2). God's character is unchanging through our trials. Though His plan be a path we don't want to take God has not changed (Hebrews 13:8).

I don't know where you are in life. I don't know if you are rejoicing in triumphs or if you are in despair as life falls apart around you. Whether it's sickness, death, relationship troubles, troubling questions about faith, or some other unwelcome surprise, you can rest on the fact that God has not changed. He is still with you. He still loves you

We see in the people in the Bible that life can hold great difficulties. Look at Joseph, Job, Jeremiah, Esther. Look at Mary. Yes, we picture her as the woman picked out of the history of the Jewish nation to bear the Messiah but think of her life on earth. She was scorned, her reputation taken away. She lived to see her Son die on a cross. That was not an easy life. But we do have a promise to take with us. "These things have I spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." (John 16:33)

-In darkness our hope is Jesus. 
"Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the Lord shall be a light unto me." Micah 7:8

-In despair He is our song. 
"Yet the Lord will command his lovingkindess in the daytime, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life." Psalm 42:8

-In tears He is our strength. 
"In the day when I cried thou answerest me, and strengthenedst me with strength in my soul." Psalm 138:3

I don't know what your story is. I don't know what the end of it will be in this life. But I do know that God promises that He is at work in our lives until the end (Psalm 138:8, Philippians 1:6, Romans 8:28, James 1:2-4). Take hold of that in your dark hour. Cling to Jesus for He will never leave you. 

"Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me." Psalm 139:10


  1. I took several weeks and memorized and meditated Psalm 139! I love it and I loved your application!

    1. It is an amazing chapter! And thank you!