There is this darkness that always surrounds us. Some can feel it, like a gentle caress of the wind; some need to close their eyes and they become one with it. For others, ignorance certainly is bliss.
I scrunch up my eyes sometimes when things get too hazy or when I am too tired to SEE. They are weak, my poor eyes, and I make them work like they and I are on our way to win an Olympic medal.
“Surely the darkness will overwhelm me, and the light around me will be night…” (Psalm 139:11)
This happens to me when I am in the valley. You know, that place where you find yourself when you have hit rock bottom; in contrast to the mountain peaks where you can’t stop dancing at as success and happiness comes knocking. Valley, the place where you are surrounded by suffering, struggle, pain and confusion; the place where memories of victory and peace of the past feels unreal. The light around me will be night…
My friend is in the valley right now; she knew this day would come. But then you are never prepared for the day when you actually put down your resignation letter, though you might have been thinking about doing the same for months. “Should I reconsider about taking it back?” she asked after her anger had subsided. She has been working at this place for more than a year, earning a handsome salary, recently got an award AND a promotion. But the truth is: the place sucks. Everybody’s yelling at each other, there’s back-biting, tearing each other down; but, on the other hand, that also means she is now going to be at home with nothing to do. Well, she’s already occupied her suite in the Valley Hotel.
“Where is the way to the dwelling of light? And darkness, where is its place…” (Job 38:19)
Me? I just need to close my eyes and I become one with it. My friend had a dream where she saw me accomplishing something which I failed to do in the recent past. I was heartbroken after my failure and I don’t want to go through that pain again. But my friend thinks her dream is a sign for me to try one more time. “You don’t always get what you want in the first time round. Some people toil for years trying to make their dreams come true”. To do it all over again JUST because she had a dream? Needless to say, I am blinded by the dark that makes it difficult for me to take the next step. What if that step lands me in a ditch?
It’s always there, the darkness that refuses to let go no matter how bright our heart sings the song of love and joy.
“When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. Then I will remove my hand and you will see my back. (Exodus 33:22-23)
Is that it? When it gets dark, it’s only because God has tucked me in the cleft of the rock and covered me, protected, with His hand? In the dark, the bridge and my world shakes, cracking dreams. But maybe this is true reality: It is in the dark that God is passing by. The bridge and our lives shake not because God has abandoned, but the exact opposite — God is passing by.
(Ann Voskamp, as quoted in the book ‘One thousand gifts’)
Like the author, I question, “Is that it? Is that really it? Is He really passing by? I don’t feel it at all though. All I feel is the dark, as real as the tears that are shed when hopelessness is your BFF.” But then the mind recalls the words the heart has long forgotten: “The Lord has said that he would dwell in thick darkness. (2 Chronicles 6:1)
And as he dwells, I wait, with my eyes all scrunched up, for his glory to pass by me.
Picture 1 and 3: And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labor, it is the gift of God. (Ecclesiastes 3:13)