During the darkest times in life it is hard to find joy. Many times it feels like we are walking with the heavy burden on our back and in our hearts, pulling our bodies closer to the ground. We see our feet, the few steps in front of us, but we do not see the view to the side of our path as we shuffle along.
After a while we forget that we were meant to shine, that joy was supposed to be part of our lives. We become resigned to the life we are experiencing, only facing the ground, never looking up or looking at the creation around us. We miss so much of what God has prepared for us, when we choose to resign. What we need is an intimate moment with Jesus in the midst of the darkness.
On a Sabbath Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues, and a woman was there who had been crippled by a spirit for eighteen years.She was bent over and could not straighten up at all. When Jesus saw her, he called her forward and said to her, “Woman, you are set free from your infirmity.” Then he put his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God (Luke 13:10-13).
While we may not have immediate relief from the burdens we carry, we will still be able to find ways to praise God in the midst of it all. We will still be able to celebrate that God is bigger than the hurt, the darkness, the weight on our backs and in our hearts. We can cry out to God, He will not be surprised by our voices. He is actually waiting and listening for them, straining His ears to hear our whimpers.
Precious Child of God, why are you not choosing to call out? Don’t you know, when we call out we acknowledge that we are not alone in the darkness? We call out to the Light of the World to be found. To have His presence fill us up again so that we can shine through the darkness for others. To help those around us know that they are not alone. We reach out to them, with God’s light in us shining out to help them find Him – just as we did.
Best Beloved, the burden you carry is not yours to struggle under. It belongs to God, to Jesus. He carried our burdens to the Cross and when He died He took them with Him. They are gone. Only the phantom weight remains. Jesus took it all, He paid it all. Don’t try to carry what is already gone. The darkness can be overwhelming, debilitating, but it is not the truth. Jesus overcame it all when He rose from the dead. The ultimate darkness was beaten by Jesus (John 1:5). Don’t let it fool you into thinking you are beaten.
The woman Jesus healed in Luke 13 had been bent over for eighteen years. Eighteen years! How long have you been carrying your burdens? A year? Five years? Most of your life? Isn’t it time to lay it down and lift your head for the first time in a long time?
Let us shine like it says in 2 Corinthians 4:6, For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.