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Commonsense Christianity

Recently, a friend sent me this Bible verse from Isaiah 50:10:

“Who among you fears the Lord and obeys the word of his servant?

“Let him who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of the Lord and rely on his God.”

Moonlit Night on the Coppei inspirational original oil painting by Steve Henderson

It’s hard enough to walk when things are shadowy; it’s impossible to do so, without God, when things are completely dark. Moonlit Night on the Coppei, original oil painting by Steve Henderson, sold.

Initially, this verse was most perplexing to me because, despite God’s consistently shaking me awake over the last nine years, and teaching me to listen to His voice and not man’s, I tend to fall back on default to conventional, guided, pulpit-provided thought, and said to myself:

“But I know Jesus, and He is the light! So I should never be walking in darkness!”

That sounds like a sermon, doesn’t it, sprinkled with appropriate verses to hammer in the point:

“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life,” (John 8:12)

the customarily dreary point of these sermons being that we’re not good enough, we don’t have enough faith, and by golly, we’d better change all that if we want God to accept and love us.

Sometimes, We Walk in the Dark

But reality is, even though we have made a choice to follow God; learn about Him through prayer, reading Scripture, and observing the world around us; and seek fellowship and time with His son, Jesus, we frequently operate in a state of not knowing what will happen next.

Let me amend that: we ALWAYS operate in a state of not knowing what will happen next, because only God knows, and holds, the future.

Daydreaming inspirational original oil painting of woman walking on ocean beach by Steve Henderson

Life involves a daily walk on the path set before us; sometimes we can see it, and sometimes we can’t. Daydreaming, original oil painting by Steve Henderson, sold.

“Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink, or about your body, what you will wear,” Jesus taught in Matthew 6:25-34.

“For the pagans run after all these things, and our heavenly Father knows that you need them.”

He is not scolding, as He so often seems to be from the pulpit, but teaching, guiding, encouraging — understanding that we, who live in fleshly bodies with very real concerns about mortgage payments, root canals or impacted wisdom teeth, rising food costs, and an extensive list of school supplies for our first grader prepared by a 22-year-old teacher who has no children of her own, worry about these things, because they slap us in the face every moment of our lives.

Unfulfilled Dreams

Often, in the midst of our day to day obligations and perplexities, we have dreams and desires for something better, something deeper, that we fight because — though we try and we try and we try to bring these dreams to some sort of fruition — nothing happens, and we question whether these dreams are from God, or just some silly fantasy within our own brains.

After all, we reason, if the dreams were from God, wouldn’t they come true, or at least look as if they had the intention of doing so?

At this point, if we are honest with ourselves, we have to admit that we are walking in the dark, because we don’t know what’s going on. All we know is that we can’t give it up, whatever this dream or desire is, and though we have, to the best of our ability, handed it back to God and said, “Take this, if it’s the wrong thing, and lead me,” nothing is happening.

Our eyes are open, but they see nothing, because the path ahead, and behind, and to the side of us, is dark.

“Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord,” the Psalmist tells us in 27:14. In the verse before, he says,

“I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.”

“WHY?!”

No one makes a pronouncement like this when he is already seeing, and living, what he looks for and desires. These are the brave words of a person who has prayed, and prayed, and prayed for something that has not yet happened, and while the one part of him cries out in agony, “WHY!!!!!” the will of this psalmist asserts that God is good, all good, and He is worth trusting.

So back to that verse in Isaiah 50:10 from my friend, and sister in Christ:

“Let him who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of the Lord and rely on his God.”

Once we acknowledge that we are lost, in the dark, and unable to walk forward because we can’t see anything ahead of us, then our best, and only, choice is to trust in the goodness, compassion, and love (the name) of our Father, and rely upon Him, as our counselor, guide, and teacher, to walk us through this dark place.

And while this will not preclude our yelling out “WHY!? WHEN!? HOW MUCH LONGER!?” at the most disparate times (often just after we’ve been congratulating ourselves on how well our faith is progressing), our Lord and God and Father is not frightened of, or offended by, our questions. Indeed, they come as no surprise to Him; it is we ourselves who do not realize the shallowness of our faith, and our daily need to consciously place our hands in His.

Thank You

Thank you for joining me at Commonsense Christianity.

Posts complementing this one are

Psychotic Cats and God’s Love

Are Your Dreams — and Your Life — in Perpetual Limbo?

When Our Dreams Never Come True

 

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