My oldest child arrived nine days late. Labor lasted over twenty-four hours until my doctor performed an emergency Caesarean, transporting my baby boy from my womb into my arms.
A comfortable, familiar home was this dark womb; leaving was not what baby Sammy wanted. Yet, leaving was best. My baby had to come out of the darkness. The light waiting for him was bright but wonderful to behold. God meant for Sammy to enter this light, to live in it and thrive because of it.
Remaining in places of comfortable familiarity is not always best for us. Like the womb, these can be spaces of darkness. Oftentimes, we find it easier (or safer), to stay hidden in the dark.
As we begin this shiny New Year, you may feel regret as you reflect on the year we just said good-bye to. Was it less than shiny? Do you need a bright start?
As you read these words, I challenge you to stop and pray. Are there places of darkness in your innermost parts? Places desperately needing God’s Light to penetrate?
In God’s word, Peter tells us:
“BUT you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”
1 Peter 2:9 (New International Version)
Out of Darkness
Let’s focus in on the last two points of this verse: God has called us out of darkness, and into His wonderful light.
God called us out. The darkness is not our home, even though it may feel cozy and familiar. In today’s context, I am referring to those of us who claim Jesus as Savior, yet still live in or with shadowed, covered spaces. This can include shame, addictions, depression and many others. Personal, private darkness.
From the outside looking in, others may view us as “having it all together”. We may be leaders in our church and communities. We may have beautiful homes, cute outfits and darling children. However, pain and shadow reside in our souls.
Is the Lord speaking to you today? Maybe victory seems impossible or scary?
Where to begin?
A call to Courage
First, start with God. Francis Fragpine says, “Satan dines on what we withhold from God.” Confess your heart to a gracious Savior who knows your innermost parts. A Savior who loves you desperately and has fashioned you for victory. A Savior full of grace.
Next- tell someone. This takes courage. A Christian counselor, a trusted friend, a pastor or church leader. Once we take the step of verbalizing our struggle, our place of pain, our shame – it is no longer hidden and healing may begin. Light shines into blackness.
These first two steps are essential to freedom. Depending on your area of struggle, what happens next depends on wise counsel and prayer. Perhaps long-term counseling is necessary or a support group. Maybe a one-on-one mentoring relationship. This stage of the journey is crucial.
Into the Light
The notion of a baby living in a womb past the healthy gestation period is absurd. Illogical. If my son had stayed in the blackness for these twenty-one years, think of all the life and light he’d have missed (and what about me- pregnant for decades?)!
We are sons and daughters of The Light, called to victory and freedom. Entitled to a life in the open and out of the shadows. Called, invited, and summoned to shine the Light that shines in us.
It is time, my friend; this is your year! Time to come Out-n-In to His indescribable freedom. The freedom of His Wonderful Light.