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From Dark to Light

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Fear not.

“Nana, are you ever scared?” Laura’s quiet voice – from the other side of the bed.  Before I could think of the best way to answer, “Nana, tell me the truth, really. I’ve never asked you this before and I want to know.”

“Yes, love, I have been scared.”

“What scares you?”

“Well, I am scared something might happen to you  or anyone in our family. But I learned when those feelings happen in me, I have to pray.”

“Ok. I am very scared of the dark, Nana. It is so dark in here. I don’t like the dark.”

“Lord, please let us know You are here with us, with us everywhere and understand how scared we are and help us to remember how much You love us”. Amen

We held hands. Silence from her side of the bed. Her questions ceased. Her breathing slowed. Sleep happened.

Oh, the innocent, uncanny ability of six year olds to make us question ourselves.

And I’ve been thinking the past few days how, I too, am afraid of the dark.

Just a few weeks ago our area of southeastern Louisiana experienced what they are now referring to as the 500 year flood. The most uncanny part of this came in the dark. There is one house between me and the river that was to rise through the night and crest the next day.

We were out of town at a soccer tournament so my neighbor kept texting me to keep me updated. Our phones went off several times during the night with alerts about flash flooding and updates on the status of the rising waters. The night was long.

As the darkness turned into daylight, I  received a text from my neighbor telling me how high the water came onto my property but my house was spared. It came to within a few inches of entering his house. So many people we know were not spared.

I think of this week – Holy week.

Jesus went from entering the city on Palm Sunday to being dragged into an unjust trial, nailed on a cross to die, buried in a dark tomb and rising from the dead on Easter Sunday.

Eight days my friends.

Eight days from triumph to what we consider to be tragedy to triumph once again.

In the minds of the ones who loved Jesus, they stood by – helplessly – as they watched with great fear – the life leave His body.

Darkness came over the earth. The created earth itself trembled in its mourning.

Even Jesus knew the power of the darkness. He asked God to spare Him if it was possible. Yet when God didn’t say yes, Jesus went there. And He stayed there. To the pits of hell. He fought the battle that removed the eternal power of the darkness. He emerged from the darkness into the Light that gives us the promise of an eternal residence in heaven.

Jesus entered into the darkest imaginable place – but three days later emerged into a place of light and triumph once again.

It was part of God’s plan to redeem us and as Jesus died that day – He died for our sins my friends.

He went through all that darkness – we can not fathom what that looked like to Him. We can not speak into any other person’s darkness – but to follow His journey and watch Him come out into the light – He, being the Son of God our Father,  He understands our struggles and our fears of our darkness.

It is there in that darkness He waits for us to reach out to Him. The prayers I pray there are some of the rawest, most honest.

And as the darkness begins to fade, just like the peace that came into my heart as I prayed with my granddaughter, as the light revealed the levels of the waters surrounding my house, the darkness loses its power of fear.

In our everyday battles with darkness and our fear of the dark, it is easy to forget the victory. It is easy – so easy to let our fears creep in – for doubt to enter behind it and in that process the Light begins to dim.

Our eyes forget to look for God. Our hearts forget to seek the Light and just like I told Laura that night in bed, we forget to pray. We forget the power that Jesus brought out of the darkest battle ever fought. We forget He did it because He loves us so much. We forget how powerful it is. We forget the ultimate battle has already been won.

It is when I release my death grip on my fears and give them to Him that I am able to move forward into the light.

The light takes away the power of the darkness.

Jesus is waiting for each of us to release our fears to Him.

My personal focus this season has been to remember.

To remember His love for me. Remember how much He loves you. Remember the most incredible sacrifice ever offered on this earth. Remember the battle has already been won. It is up to us – God gave us the gift of free will – the power of the dark and the darkness is gone when we turn to God, seeking His Light to guide us through the battles we face everyday. Our battles are real. His victory is real. Rejoice. Celebrate. The hope is in the victory already claimed by Jesus. He is our victor. Our hope. Our Light.

It is my hope, my prayer, that my granddaughter remembers our conversation that night – all of her life. When fear enters her heart – to remember Jesus is waiting to take it from her – from all of us – we have to pray to Him.

There are so many scriptures that speak into this – google “scriptures on fear, darkness, light and hope”. You will be amazed how God understands.

Joshua 1:9 Do not be frightened and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.

Jeremiah 29:13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

Philippians 4:6-7  Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

“Lord, we come before You today, filled with awe and wonder at the events that happened this week so many years ago. We praise You. Jesus’ love for us fills our hearts. He went into the darkest of darkness to come out victorious over the dark death that would keep us prisoners of fear. He brings us the keys to unlock those fears and live in hope, in light and closer to You. We praise You, Lord. Be with us as we battle our fears, as we fight the battle against the darkness and give us the courage to turn to You every step of the way. We know – You know – You have fought the battle and won. Your love for us is real. We, too, can be victorious for eternity. In Jesus’ name. Amen”

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