Someone reading this is in a situation right now that is dark.
There is nothing good in what you are facing. It seems hopeless. You’re saying “Kim, there is nothing good about this day, this cancer, this divorce, this break up, this depression, this crisis of Faith”.
And you’re right.
It’s messed up.
Right now it’s a whole lot of bad.
Is anyone else like me and sometimes you just don’t want a scripture given to you in a hard time? Sometimes you simply want someone to agree that things stink and acknowledge how rotten it all is. I’m not saying scripture isn’t encouraging – I love how God’s Word comes alive and meets us right where we are at. But there’s something else we need in a dark time. Empathy.
Empathy: (n) the capacity to place oneself in another's position.
Many years ago, I found out I had a brain tumor that was going to require surgery (it turned out to be a pituitary cyst). I had a lot of people telling me “everything happens for a reason” and “trust in the Lord!” They were trying to offer encouragement in a hard time.
But I will tell you the phone call I remember the most. It was with my dad. After I told him about the MRI results I waited for his reply…
“You must be pretty scared.”
Yes. Yes I was.
My dad was the first person to actually give me permission to feel what I was truly feeling. He didn’t try to ignore it because it made him uncomfortable, or paste flowery sentiment on it to make it not seem so bad. He made space on the bench next to me where I was and sat right down. And for the first time I felt genuinely comforted.
If you are in a dark time right now I want to first tell that it’s okay to be afraid. It’s okay to hate the circumstance. It’s okay to not want to be there. It’s okay to not see it as a huge blessing.
But then I want to encourage you.
Wait. Trust God. Goodness will come. And God will give you peace until then.
God will redeem this circumstance and the good of this day will come.
It may take days, weeks, or years. But if there’s one thing I know about our God, He is the God of redemption. He LOVES and LIVES to redeem things.
The word REDEEM means, “to make an exchange”.
To take the ugly and make it beautiful.
To take the dead and make it alive.
To take what’s broken and make it whole.
To take the death of Jesus and turn it into our hope and salvation.
He WILL redeem your trial and make it good.
Proverbs 16:4 says “The LORD works out everything to its proper end.”
Write this on a post it and stick it to your dashboard as a reminder. Stick it on your bathroom mirror.
Romans 8:28 promises that “God causes ALL things to work together for good to those who love Him… “
Let that stir HOPE in you!
The good of this day WILL come.
Have you ever seen God redeem a dark time? Your marriage was strengthened, your family was restored, your capacity to love grew… Something that seemed hopeless and void of anything good became the soil for something beautiful to grow.
I had postpartum depression when my son was born and it was the darkest season of my life. I told my husband many times that I hated being a mom and that I would never be happy again. I couldn’t see even a tiny flicker of light at the end of a very long, dark tunnel. But in time, there was healing. In time, there was rejoicing. And in time, my story was used to bring comfort and encouragement to countless other women going through the same thing.
Sometimes, a story is redeemed in its retelling.
Each time you share your difficult journey, easing the burden of another on the same journey… your story is redeemed.
If you know someone going through a dark time, I know it’s easy to not say anything in fear of saying the wrong thing. Or to not say anything because you simply don’t know what to say.
Say something. Even if it goes something like this:
“I don’t know what to say. But I’m here. Jesus has not left. God is on the throne. You are not alone. I’m praying for you. I love you.”