It is tempting to think that any and all darkness is not from the Lord, but the Bible tells story after story of faithful people who were led through periods of darkness for the purpose of preparation for greater tasks. "If darkness is not also of God, then the fact that winter exists is unfathomable to me. Look at the way that barren branches bring forth the buds of spring. Look at the way that cool, grey skies hold within them the promise of brightest blue. God uses our darkness, too, and usually to bring forth Life in us."
Waiting on God may be the most difficult task we are called to as Christians. Time and time again we fall on our faces as we try to run ahead of, instead of following, the Leader. It is a relief to know that He is patient with our false starts and even helps us start over. “It’s okay if you are on Square One—you are supposed to be starting over in God every time you fall or fail. He gives believers new life in order to show the world that life without Him is certain death. And, by the way, you can claim your second chance as many times as you want to. He will never run out of new beginnings.”
The busier our lives become, the more we feel the hunger that comes when we do not spend time nourishing our spirits. With a look at God’s provision through manna in the wilderness, Nika focuses on the simple truth that we cannot go a day without the Bread of Life. “Notice that the Lord does not say, ‘Come away and eat.’ He says, ‘Come away and rest.’ He desires that we rest in Him for a reason. It is because He knows how hungry we are, and that only He can fill us.”
Hope is not an accident. Sometimes it has to be hunted, and hunting it takes courage. Hope hunters know how to excavate hope from hardship. There is dirt underneath their fingernails and sweat on their shirts. They rake through the rubble of an unwanted situation, digging into difficult circumstances because they have come to expect that adversity will produce good. They believe that light always triumphs over darkness. They have learned to walk through winter with their eyes on spring.
When we experience chronic pain or loss, our natural response is to hide our hearts in order to protect them from additional pain. We default to public images of competence, minimizing, and prioritizing and we avoid getting the help we need from our friends, family, and the church. But when we distance ourselves from people, we are ultimately distancing ourselves from God. He wants a close relationship with us and will seek to remove the veils we are hiding behind. Thought it may seem uncomfortable at first, letting go of our self-protection always leads to renewed life. Beyond the veil there is always hope.
The Lord left incomparable jewels hidden for us in the book of Psalms. From the hidden connections between the five books of Psalms to the first five books of the Bible to the gentle references to the coming Savior, the Psalms are a diamond-mine waiting to be discovered. Learning about the messages of love tucked into the Psalms will enrich your personal Bible reading in new and exciting ways. Hear your own heartbeat in the words of the psalmists, and walk through the Psalms as a treasure-hunter.