Illumination

As I drove to my sister’s house later that night, I had a lot to think about. My time in the darkness revealed much about my current circumstances regarding the stress in my life -- and I didn’t like what I saw. As I thought about the past few weeks, I realized that when crisis strikes, my faith panics much like I had in the darkened corridor of the warehouse. Instead of remaining calm, my spirit curls up in the fetal position much as I was tempted to do on the dolly!

But sometimes, I believe the darkness exists just so the light of Christ will shine a bit brighter. And the more I thought, the more I could see how darkness doesn’t have to paralyze me any longer. My experience in the warehouse seems all too appropriate for Holy Week -- when we remember how Christ ventured willingly into the darkest of all places – death. And yet you and I know how the story unfolds – on Easter morning, not even death could contain Jesus, and He brought the light of the Resurrection into the world. What is there to fear when death itself has been conquered?

So, I’ve decided it’s time for a change. It’s time I open my eyes and seek out the light of Christ, waiting to rescue me. I just need to look up and acknowledge Him. I could have kept my eyes closed in fear in that warehouse, and if I had, I’d never have seen that beautiful, green sign pointing the way to freedom. So, I’ve decided to focus on the saving light of Jesus -  regardless of the darkness of my current circumstances. In doing so, all fear and panic can be pushed aside to make room for relief and the sweet assurance that the He who has conquered all darkness will guide my steps, just as that bright green light guided me toward my escape.

Another thing that struck me on my way home was that when darkness fell -- I forgot about the baggage I brought with me. My former priorities were no longer my goals, my perspective changed -- suddenly all I wanted was light. Who cared that the lock was stuck or the box needed to go in the storeroom? I wanted out of there!

When tragedy strikes or things don’t go our way, it’s often the same in our lives — we let go of the trivial things weighing us down and turn our focus solely on receiving help. The problem is many of us look in the wrong place, turning to alcohol or drugs or food or sex or other means of temporary escape. We run, lost in a maze, feeding our senses with false remedies while the true cure of the Cross, the true exit, is right around the corner — and we miss it every time.

No matter what problems you’re facing today, there is an exit sign available to lead you, and His name is Jesus. The darker the blackness, the brighter that light shines. Cling to the outstretched hand of the One offering rescue and put your cares and concerns in His charge. You won’t be disappointed.

No, your circumstances might not instantly change, but your faith will grow and the light of our Lord will blind your eyes to the weight of the darkness around you. During the darkness of Holy Week, rest in His glow and let Him show you the way out. You might have to wind through the maze a little longer than you’d prefer, but eventually the darkness will subside. And that first glimpse of Easter morning will be worth every moment.

Originally published March 12, 2008.

Betsy Ann St. Amant resides in northern Louisiana with her hubby and newborn daughter. She has a bachelor's degree in Christian Communications from Louisiana Baptist University and is actively pursuing a career in inspirational writing. Look for her novel RETURN TO LOVE by Steeple Hill Love Inspired on shelves July 2009. You may contact Betsy at betsystamant@yahoo.com