Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Love in Darkness and Light

A girl kneeling alone on a hillside. Her brow reflects earnestness. You see the clasped hands and imagine that this girl must be one of those full of faith.

But I know differently. At heart this girl is full of doubts.

Words of prayer are sometimes too much for her to formulate because she questions the closeness of one who hears. She wonders whether it is complete craziness to speak phrases that are carried into nothingness on the winter winds. The miracles so recently touched are dimmed by the passing of days and by the darkness cast by faith´s enemy. The sense of separation from the object of her faith leaves only tearful questions to be cast skyward, “Is this real? Is it true?”

When I cannot muster passionate confidence in my praise and petitions, I am somehow yet compelled to that hillside. When God seems most aloof, His face hardly distinct, and His love just a fairytale, I pace back and forth, and refuse to leave. In those precise moments of doubting, the true meaning of faith and love slowly and brightly dawns.

On doubt-shrouded mornings, fog momentarily lets the first rays of the sun break forth. It sinks in, right then and there, that love has always been so much more than an exquisite feeling. Love is a decision, a commitment, a principle that surpasses feelings, and yet instigates feelings all at the same time. When God seeks to know the depth of your love, He may choose to withdraw the “warm feelings” and test the strength of love´s commitment. He may briefly take away the clarity, or the logic, or the fun of it all and prove whether the love principle still beats in our hearts. If we rush to embrace the commitment of love with as much sincerity and excitement as we embrace the feeling of love, God stops what He is doing to take notice…for He has found one who will not forsake loving Him in the dark, through the pain, during any trial, beneath the weight of the heaviest cross.

Many feel the love of God in moments, and maybe even feel love for Him back…but we stop short of engaging that love with all our heart, soul, and mind…we resist committing ourselves to its reality for life...through thick and thin, silences and doubt.       
"Behold, I go forward, but he is not there; and backward, but I cannot perceive him: On the left hand, where he doth work, but I cannot behold him: he hideth himself on the right hand, that I cannot see him: But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold." Job 23:8-10

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