I often encounter people who feel like they’ve entered a season with no direction in their lives, like they’re wandering around in the dark. These are folks who love God and want to do his will. Yet it seems as though he’s looking the other way and turning a deaf ear to their requests for guidance. There are a few areas I’m dealing with right now where I can definitely relate.
In a religious setting, we’d be told that we had sin in our lives or we weren’t spending enough time in prayer. Or maybe we were failing to submit to leadership who would be more than willing to tell us what to do.
There’s an interesting scripture in Isaiah 50:10-11 that addresses those who fear and obey the Lord, yet walk in the dark with no light. It simply instructs them to trust in the name of the Lord and rely on God. It goes on to say that those who try to manufacture their own fire and walk in their own light will lie down in torment.
If creating a sense of obligation or shame doesn’t do the trick, religion is always good at creating light shows, making it look likes something’s happening when it’s not. Just get involved, get with the program and you’ll be fine. It’s like offering strange fire on the altar. Yet religious obligation, shame and false hope equal torment.
But according to Isaiah, leaning on Father and believing that he loves us keeps us in the center of his will. So if we’re in the dark, it doesn’t necessarily indicate that sin is blocking our path. And we don’t need to know anything other than that he just wants us to trust him and receive his love. The darkness will pass, and you’ll be exactly where he wants you to be; in his arms.
Yet trusting in and relying on God leaves no room for passivity. Blind Bartemaeus was sitting by the road begging, but his ears were open to what was going on around him. When he heard Jesus was approaching he was ready for action even though being met with resistance from those near him. When Jesus called to him he cast his only means of shelter and income aside and ran to the one who he fully trusted to be the Messiah. He received his sight because his actions proved his trust in God to be everything he needed.
Sometimes we stay in the dark longer than Father intended, because we’ve let deferred hope dull our hearing or are unwilling to give up our security blanket/s. But the only security we can count on is his unchanging and unsurpassed love that overcomes every obstacle and meets every need. Hope that is based on any thing or anyone but God himself will always be disappointed and will keep us in the dark, but hope that’s anchored in his faithfulness produces a trusting heart that banks on who he is rather than what we think he said. Then we can run with reckless abandon to the one who is the light.