Abandoned Not

It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light. 
(Aristotle Onassis)

Anyone who meets a testing challenge head-on and manages to stick it out is mighty fortunate. For such persons loyally in love with God, the reward is life and more life. (James 1:12)

Think about one of your 'darkest moments' right now. Maybe it was quite some time ago, or perhaps you are just coming out of that place right now. What did you experience as it started, went on for what seemed like an indefinite period of time, and when it finally ended? If your moment hasn't completely ended, you might just learn something from those of us who have seen the end. The darkest moments of our lives are a time of intense focus - they 're-center' us, don't they? There are hard feelings to endure through those times, and even some awful troubles that we have to overcome, but what we all have in common as we walk through these moments is there is no absence of hope as long as we take Jesus by the hand and allow him to bring us through.

Notice I said he would bring us through - not out of in an instant, but in the endurance of the dark moments - he walks with us through them. We meet the challenge and we only manage to 'stick it out' because we have him taking us through step-by-step. Days will seem darker than ever and our emotions will feel like they are about to do us in as we 'go under' for another round of what seems like unending tests and trials, but in that darkest place of emotional upheaval his hand hold tightly to ours. Leading, guiding, never letting us go into that darkness alone - never abandoning us to our grief, despair, or depression.

Our emotions will attempt to convince us otherwise, but God never abandons us in our darkest places. In fact, he is the ever-beckoning light that is breaking through time and time again when we seem to be 'going under' for who knows how many times. Sticking it out when all we feel is like we are going under again is hard for even the most dedicated believer - sticking it out alone is even harder. When we are going through those darkest moments it is easy to draw back, pull in, and be like snails secure in our own little shell of emotional turmoil. This is not going to help the 'darkness' because that shell only creates more darkness for us!

What we need more than anything in the darkest moments when our emotions are crushing us from the inside out is each other! We need that friend who will not allow us to slip into that darkness, feeling abandoned and all alone. That friend who will remind us we don't walk alone - spiritually and physically. God is with us spiritually - they are with us naturally. Did you ever stop to consider why Jesus didn't just call one disciple? He called twelve because he knew in the darkest moments when they would question everything they knew to be true they would need each other to remind each other of the truth! 

So, the lesson we most may need to learn from the darkest place may just be that we don't stand alone - even when we might believe our emotions that tell us otherwise - we aren't ever abandoned by God and he has provided those around us who will help us rise from the pit once again if we don't retreat from their help and strength! Just sayin!

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