While my evening Pandora listening fluctuates between Mumford & Sons or Nora Jones stations, my morning routine is dominated by the David Crowder Band worship station. This morning I took note of how many of the songs revolved around God’s presence during hard times – storms, raging seas and general calamity. Much of the language (though, thankfully, not all) includes an element of God lifting us out of the pit, our places of desperation.
Looking at it with a historical-critical approach, a good amount of worship music amassed just after our country went through its collective dark time of 9/11 and now we’ve been introduced to living in an era of uncertainty. I recall (a personal favorite) Blessed Be the Name rising in popularity after the towers fell, as a response to tragedy. Later, I sang David Crowder’s Never Let Go on repeat while I miscarried our first baby. I would “sing until it’s true” and music became a rope to pull me from the depths of grief.
It’s a beautiful thing to find God’s presence in the darkness. We need to see the light breaking through.
The other morning, we headed east toward the school and drove directly into the sun’s blinding morning rays. I tried sunglasses, a visor and even my hands to block the glare and see the stoplights. The light was so bright – as one of my kids says, “there’s too much day!” – I couldn’t see right in front of me.
As a culture, we’re good at finding God in the darkness. But could we be blinded by the light?
Is it possible to have so much light, so many good things, that we can barely sense God’s presence? Instead we settle for the neon and chrome the world artificially produces.
When you ask people of faith why they believe, they often site the ways in which God got them through the hard times, which is good and right. Such experiences are unshakable. Finding God in the darkness is not the easy way out. Perhaps, just as believing is often finding God in the darkness, a life of faithfulness means finding God in the light.
Just before God took his people into the Promised Land, he told them (Deuteronomy 6) through Moses: When the Lord your God brings you into the land he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to give you—a land with large, flourishing cities you did not build, houses filled with all kinds of good things you did not provide, wells you did not dig, and vineyards and olive groves you did not plant—then when you eat and are satisfied, be careful that you do not forget the Lord, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. (Emphasis mine)
Though far from perfect, I’m living a pretty blessed life right now. We have strong families behind us, friends among us, a family of faith around us. We can pay our bills and feed our family with enough to spare to send them to a wonderful preschool and go on vacation. We’re healthy, happy and free. If my faith was only big enough for God to move into the darkness, then it would be a pretty small place for Him right now. The challenge, then, is to keep moving toward the true light.