The Good We Find in the Darkness {Linkup}

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I can’t sleep without white noise. Whether it’s a fan, air purifier or an app on my phone, I need that gentle hum to lull me into oblivion.

My husband travels several times a year for work, and when he’s gone I turn the noise up a notch. Every sound in the house except for that air purifier sends me into a panic.

I check the locks on the doors three or four times. I stand by the kids’ bedroom doors to make sure they’re asleep. I pace the house wondering, mind racing on overtime.

Was that a mouse in our attic? Was it a squirrel? Or was it an intruder looking for a way inside?

We live in a fairly safe neighborhood. But it only takes an hour of drama on Netflix or the latest news story to send me into high-anxiety mode.

There’s something about the darkness that makes us uncomfortable, isn’t there?

We fear what’s lurking in the shadows. We like the awareness the light brings- a sense of control, knowing what surrounds us and even what threatens us.

Recently, my family entered circumstances where the darkness was thick. I wasn’t just uncomfortable. I was on my knees in panic.

I wasn’t interested in seeing what God was trying to reveal to me through the pain or whether there was a reason for it. I wanted it to go away- period.

When I read the story of creation, I always find it interesting how God didn’t remove the darkness to create the light. Although he had the authority to do so, he didn’t expel it once and for all when he said, “Let there be light.”

No, he separated the two. It’s as though there was some plan, some purpose behind it.

Then, fast-forward a couple of thousand years and we meet Jesus- the One who calls himself The Light. He tells us in John that those who follow Him will never walk in darkness. (John 8:12)

And yet, he doesn’t banish the darkness either.

 As a matter of fact, there are situations where he allows it to enter the lives of those who walk with Him.

Don’t believe me? Look at the story of Lazarus.

When Martha sends word that her brother is dying, Jesus is only one day’s walk away. But he waits. And he doesn’t wait because he’s disillusioned about the situation. No, he has a purpose to his delay.

This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.

John 11:4 NIV

 Sometimes God allows the darkness so that his Light can be magnified.

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It isn’t because he doesn’t care. He isn’t sitting on his throne, removed from our situation like he’s playing some video game. He weeps for us. (John 11:35)

He doesn’t just hurt when we hurt. As I read in a recent devotion, he hurts because we hurt.

Could Jesus have prevented Lazarus from dying altogether? Absolutely. Mary and Martha know this, and it is one of the first things they say to him when he arrives. They don’t yet see the reason for his delay. So what good comes out of his death? We see it as the story concludes.

Therefore many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him.

John 11:45 NIV

Like those who were with Jesus when he arrived at Lazarus’ tomb, I eventually saw that the darkness my family was walking through had a purpose. But I had to stick around and face it. I had to expect God to show up.

And do you know what? He did. In ways I never could have imagined, he showed me he was working.

Friend, I don’t know what darkness you’re walking through today. You may be running that air purifier, trying to avoid its overwhelming presence in your life.

But can I tell you something? God can use it. He can walk with you through it and magnify his Light in the middle of it.

Sometimes we just have to turn off the noise and face it.

 

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41 thoughts on “The Good We Find in the Darkness {Linkup}

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  6. Abby, I’ve never thought about how darkness didn’t disappear but God separated it and light. I’m like you ~ ready to run from the “tough”. But then how would God be magnified, right? Good word today, my friend. Good word.

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    • I hadn’t thought about it either until a year or so ago when I was reading it again. I love how scripture is always coming alive in new ways. ❤ Thank you for your encouragement, friend. xoxo

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  8. Hi Abby-I love the dichotomy of the lightness and the dark and you say it so well here: “Sometimes God allows the darkness so that his Light can be magnified.” We all have those dark moments, but when we rest in His truth and trust only in Him and not our worries, we truly can rest and walk through those dark moments. Thanks, happy to share and glad I stopped by today! #RaRaLinkup

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  9. We have to expect God to show up – yes! He can and He is able, but how often we feel like He is missing in the dark, when He is simply trying to lead us to the light. Love your encouragement to hold fast! You and I would be a hoot together on a dark night. I’m just like you when my husband is gone – except I have to sleep in quiet, so you can imagine there isn’t much sound sleeping happening. 😉

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    • Oh yes, I can’t count the number of times I assumed that b/c circumstances were dark, He wasn’t there. I’m so thankful for his endless patience and grace. Love you and your gorgeous new site, friend! xoxo

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  10. Abby, this is so me. It is amazing to me how certain shows can make my imagination go wild 🙂 This is a wonderful way to think about the darkness. Similar thoughts on “darkness” have been crossing my path the last week and I love when God reiterates His Word to me. He walks with us through any darkness and lights up the way. Blessings!

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    • Yes! There are certain shows I had to quit watching because of this. 😉 And God is so good to send us a Word repeatedly when it’s something we need to hear. Love that. Thanks for sharing here today, Joanne.

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  11. As a fellow scaredy-cat of the dark, I so relate to this post. I turn up my white noise machine louder too when my husband is out of town. I don’t need to hear all the incidental noises that a house makes when I’m home alone. I love your analogy that God didn’t banish the darkness but he brought in a light! Yes. I want to think more on this today. Thanks, Abby!

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    • It’s a relief to know I’m not the only one, Lisa! 😉 And yes, the dichotomy between dark and light has been on my mind a lot lately. So much there to think about. Thanks for sharing here today!

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  12. Abby, I love that you mentioned God didn’t get rid of the darkness, He just added the light. Wow, what a wonderful way for me to visualize God’s presence when there is difficulty. The pain may remain but His presence makes it bearable. I love this friend! So powerful!

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    • Thank you, Jenny. That is so encouraging to hear. And yes, even when his presence doesn’t seem evident it’s so reassuring to know he never leaves. Even in the dark. Blessings and hugs to you friend.

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  15. This is so comforting, Abby. This line especially speaks to me – “Sometimes God allows the darkness so that his Light can be magnified.” Thank you. I hope God will give you comfort and peace when your husband is gone. I understand about rechecking the locks… Blessings and hugs to you!

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    • Thank you Trudy. He’s leaving next week so I am planning to cut back on the dramatic TV before bedtime. 😉 I always appreciate your encouraging words here. Blessings and hugs to you too!

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  16. Abby, such a beautiful post! I began using a white noise machine many years ago because my mind wouldn’t shut off, particularly when my husband was traveling for work. There’s something to be said for having one to drown out other nighttime noises. But, I loved what you said about how sometimes we need to not avoid the darkness but remember who Jesus is in the midst of it. Rather than running away, I want to choose to run to Him.

    Thanks for sharing your wisdom here.

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  17. We do have to face the darkness, as much as we don’t want to. I have learned this firsthand as God has walked me through the healing I’ve needed after coming out of Mormonism, going into atheism, and then finally into the Light of Jesus. It was after finding The Light that He began walking me through the darkness to heal me unbelief, abuse and so much more. I love the idea of this encouraging linkup and I hope to be a regular participant. Well done!

    If you ever want to stop by my place, feeel free. It’s where women are encouraged to love God with their minds and be firece defenders of the faith. Blessings on your day!

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    • Carrie, thank you so much for sharing part of your story here. I lived in Utah for four years so I was surrounded by many who were Mormon, and it actually forced me to go deeper into his Word to see what it really said. It’s amazing how God uses our different situations. Blessings to you.

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  20. My 2016 started in darkness with my 82 year old Fathers back surgery. Then a tumor on my Grandaughters spine (which was removed and benign) thank The Lord. The darkness continued when I became very ill in March still recovering. Then my Mother with alzhiemers fell in June. Which started a 3 month round of hospital and rehabilitation stays. Then finally hospice and her going home to The Lord to end her suffering. The funeral and staying with my Father for a month, because I couldnt stand to leave him alone. During all this darkness I could not see the light coming, but I did here God speaking to me, teaching me, and reminding me he was with me. I am seeing some of the light as I come out of this darkness with Jesus by my side nd showing me the things he has instore for me. Thank You God for seeing me through the darkness.

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    • Gayle, I’m so sorry to hear all you’ve been through during the past year. I know when we’re in the middle of the dark periods it’s hard to see his Light at all. Lifting you up in prayer today and thanking Him that you’re beginning to see his Light again.

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  21. Life’s trials over the past year I have allowed to make me detest evening and night. I don’t sleep well and when I do I am woken by nightmares fruit of the trials. I desperately read my Bible or devotions and pray. I am grateful for the light of day. God is good always and in this too He will reign! He loves me and He will be glorified ! I thank Him for His grace and nearness in the darkness. Amen!

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    • I hear you, Megan. I have walked through those seasons where I didn’t want to go to bed and would wake in the middle of the night. Thanks for sharing some of your story here. God bless you!

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  22. Abby, I didn’t get a chance to read your post yesterday, but I’m so glad I waited until today:) I needed this right now – in this very moment. Thank you for letting God use you to speak into my situation today.

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