Thursday, July 10, 2014

He's In The Darkness, Too!

Lord, you have searched me and you know me. 
You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. 
You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. 
Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely,
O Lord. You hem me in - behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me. 
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain. 
Where can I go from our Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? 
If I go up to the heavens, you are there; i
f I make my bed in the depths, you are there. 
If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. 
If I say, ‘Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,’
even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you. 
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful,
I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. 
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. 
All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. 
How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! 
Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand. 
When I awake, I am still with you.”   
Psalm 139:1-18 

I had the pleasure of spending the day at the beach with a special friend a few days ago and we shared our hearts with one another and where “we were at” in the Lord. It was interesting to me that her “place” in the Lord at the moment was very similar to mine. Then a few days later, I had lunch with another friend and she, too, was sharing something very similar.

Ummmmmmm, I thought to myself. God is up to something!!

We all shared that we were in a “dark” place, a place of shadows, searching for the light and fighting off lots of condemnation that was seemingly being heaped upon us - for things we had long ago dealt with and had victory in!

Then I received the above Scripture, Psalm 139:7-11, via email from another dear friend 
regarding the darkness.
God is SO faithful to share with us just what we need just when we need it!!

What a precious reminder from Scripture that there is
I can be that He is not there!

We wonder, at times, does God really see me? 
Does He know how much I am suffering right now? 
Can He see the hard place I am in? 
It can seem, at times, that God has abandoned us, even when we know by faith that
“He will never leave nor forsake us.”

As I went to my Bible to read Psalm 139 in its entirety, I was so encouraged once again that I do matter to God. He does see me; indeed, the very hairs on my head are numbered (Matthew 10:30). 
He is such a personal God.

When we are in that hard place, our faith is being stretched. We are brought to our knees in desperation and we cry out to God for relief. When we don’t receive it as soon as we want it, we’re left in a place of waiting and wanting.....waiting on God to move on our behalf and wanting relief from the darkness and the shadows. 
That, I believe, is exactly where God wants us.
Sometimes God needs to allow us to enter into that “dark" place, that place of shadows, to get our attention. There’s something He wants to say to us; there’s something He wants to do in us and so He brings us to that desperate place so we will not only listen to Him, but really hear what He is saying. 
“You hem me in - behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me.”

He has NOT abandoned you!
He has NOT forgotten you!
He does, in fact, see you!
He does, in fact, know exactly where you are!
Even in the midst of our darkest times, He is there, right there beside us. Scripture tells us, darkness is as light to Him. He walks beside us through that dark time.  And He is fighting our enemies for us!  When we can't seem to stand against the condemnation, the accusation and the frustration, God is at work on our behalf.  He keeps at bay and slays the dragons for us!

A couple nights ago we had quite a thunder and lightning storm in my area
and I was reminded again of Psalm 18.
“I love you, O Lord, my strength. 
The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. 
He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. 
I call to the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and I am saved from my enemies. 
The cords of death entangled me; the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me. 
The cords of the grave coiled around me; the snares of death confronted me. 
In my distress I called to the Lord; I cried to my God for help
From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears. 
The earth trembled and quaked, and the foundations of the mountains shook;
they trembled because he was angry. 
Smoke rose from his nostrils; consuming fire came from his mouth,
burning coals blazed out of it. 
He parted the heavens and came down; dark clouds were under his feet. 
He mounted the cherubim and flew; he soared on the wings of the wind. 
He made darkness his covering, his canopy around him - the dark rain clouds of the sky. 
Out of the brightness of his presence clouds advanced, with hailstones and bolts of lightning. 
The Lord thundered from heaven; the voice of the Most High resounded. 
He shot his arrows and scattered the enemies, great bolts of lightning and routed them. 
The valleys of the sea were exposed and
the foundations of the earth laid bare at your rebuke, O Lord,
at the blast of breath from your nostrils. 
He reached down from on high and took hold of me, he drew me out of deep waters. 
He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me. 
They confronted me in the day of my disaster, but the Lord was my support. 
He brought me out into a spacious place;
he rescued me because he delighted in me.”
Psalm 18:1-19

That's my God!
Doing battle on my behalf!

Though God may call us to the darkness for a season, He does not condemn us.  He does not accuse us.  He seeks not to frustrate us.  He desires for us to seek Him in and through the darkness and as we do that, He is faithful to fight off our fiercest enemies for us.
We can KNOW Him and walk with Him through our darkest times. God wastes nothing in our lives, but redeems all - even those dark times. It is not for nothing in Kingdom measurements. God will use and redeem all for His glory!
You can also be sure that even during the dark time, God is at work. He is at work in and through you, leading and guiding you to bring you out into the other side of the darkness where He has prepared a plan and place for you. And when that time is right; when all He has ordained has been accomplished, you will see what God has done. 
You will be able to see the light at the end of the shadows.
God does not play “guessing games” with His kids. He is at work and when it is time for you to know what you need to know, see what you need to see and hear what you need to hear, He will reveal it.

"...Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.  But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit:
for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God."
I Corinthians 2:9, 10
I am encouraged by His Word today. 
I hope you are, too.

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