It was 2 a.m. when the fault line just miles away from our high-rise apartment building forced the ground to separate. As the violent jolting intensified, I jumped out of bed to find my family. Despite the inky darkness, I felt myself down the hall without seeing, yet hearing, smelling and groping past everything. It still remains one of the most terrifying 45-seconds of my life.
Vision becomes keener in the dark.
I learned that lesson in overseas in 1999, but think of it often. Sometimes, the only way that the Father can draw us into using our spiritual eye of faith is to darken our view of the physical.
Some four thousand years prior, Abram had his own experience with seeing through the darkness. “Now when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram, and behold, terror and great darkness fell upon him…and it came about when the sun had set, that it was very dark, and behold, there appeared a smoking oven and a flaming torch which passed between these pieces (of sacrifice)” (Genesis 15:12,17). It took the darkness of the pit to focus Abram on the true Ray of Light.
Are you currently in dark circumstance? Could it be that God desires to dilate our spiritual eyes in the midst of the darkness for better enlightenment? Faith is the stimulant that enacts spiritual vision.
Circumstances may look grim, but we are people that have built-in “night goggles” to see past the darkness and into His reality. Only spiritual eyes can see through the devastation into His hope.
I’m afraid of the dark. I’m frightened when life changes unexpectedly and I can’t see the future. I like being in control.
Yet, instead of changing my circumstances, I ask that You change the way I look at them. Give me spiritual vision to see things as You do.
I desire to find Light in the darkness. After all, darkness isn’t dark to You. Teach me how to see like that. Show me how to use the faith lens You’ve fitted just for me. Let me see how to grope in the darkness with the power of hope. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
I was twenty-years-old and spending my first summer in Asia. The sub-tropical heat forced me indoors, so I retreated to my third floor room to spend solitary time before the Word of God and a singular, rotary fan.
All summer, a certain long-distance relationship had remained forefront in my mind. He was tall, dark and extremely cute, with a sense of humor that often caught me off-guard. Despite our happenstance first encounter on an airplane, we’d exchanged numbers and I’d seen him several times before this summer missions adventure.
He too was spending his summer overseas, with an assignment similar to mine, albeit in another country. His aerograms were filled with joy and depth, stories and Scripture, affection and interest. I’d heard him pray in person and now as I read his prayers put to pen, they only increased the growing interest I felt for this extraordinary young man.
As I listened to the oscillatory hum that afternoon, memories of childhood flooded my mind. Since my thirteenth birthday, I’d been praying for a future mate. Beginning with a request that he could wash dishes (since my dad did not), my requirements had grown over the years. Now, I included elements of prayer, Scripture, and leadership with this guy perfectly fitting the bill.
“Give Me this relationship,” came God’s Voice, so clearly I could almost hear Him audibly. Startled, I diverted my eyes to the open Bible on my lap. God spoke again in print.
“Take now… (the one) whom you love…and offer him there as an….offering” (Genesis 22:2).
I balked at such a request. “Wasn’t this exactly what I’d prayed for? Wasn’t this a relationship that could please God fully?”
“Give Me this relationship,” came the Reply.
I don’t know how long I hesitated. Nor how long I argued. The thought occurred to me that maybe I could just offer this to Him and He would stay my hand at the last minute — just like He had in Abraham’s case. But this, He did not do. As He continued to lead me up this mountain, it became crystal clear He wanted me to lay down the relationship. Finally and completely.
In an anguish of soul I hadn’t experienced to date, my prayer reached the appointed plateau. As an act of my will, I placed this relationship before the Lord and felt it severed from my soul. Sobbing and exhausted with internal distress, I lay him before the Lord.
Then, in a radiance whose memory still causes my heart to pulse, I saw the Lord. With brilliance of Light and glow of Presence, He lifted me into His rest. Splendor so filled my heart that any lack of the previous moment vanished amidst His fulness. Like sinking into a warm whirlpool on a frigid day, my entire being was immersed in His bathing Light. Resplendent, nourishing, invigorating, strengthening, His Light absorbed every dark place, gleaming without glaring. Diamond-brilliant without blinding.
His Light was worth it all. His Grandiose Presence was far better than my granulated present. None else could compare. I gazed with wide-open spiritual eyes at His Remarkable Countenance, realizing that in the very glimpse of Glory I was being transformed. He was crystal, transparent, flawless, brilliant, incorruptible….yes, indescribable. I bowed awe-struck and speechless, and to this day remain unable to fully describe His glory.
What is your well-loved Isaac? What do you need to lay before Him?
He asks for your gift
in order to give Him room
to fill you to overflowing.
Praise You that You are Light and in You there is no darkness at all (1 John 1:5). You are not afraid of the dark and go boldly into darkness so that Your radiance shines there (John 1:5). As I stand in Your Light, I clearly see the dark places still residing within me (Psalm 36:9). Send out Your Light and Your Truth to lead me into further Light (Psalm 43:3). I want to focus on Your remarkable Countenance with wide-opened eyes, so as to be filled with Your Glory (2 Corinthians 3:18). Enlighten the eyes of my heart to truly know You (Ephesians 1:18). In Jesus’ Name, Amen.