Can you see the dark in me?
We all have a dark side
We all have a dark side but we don’t see it.
We all have a dark side but we conceal it.
Thinking that as Christians we’re meant to shine light
But we find ourselves in an ongoing fight.
Between the good in our bones
And the mess that we find
As Christians we tend to become obsessed with the concept of light and rightly so. We know that we are called to be the ‘light of the world’ (Matthew 5:14-16), but if we are honest with ourselves, we all have things that we battle with. We all have things we are ashamed of. We all have things we wish we could change and yet the struggle remains.
I have many faults. I would see my inclination toward my melancholy nature to be a fault. I try my hardest and yet, I find myself seeing the glass half empty. I hear myself complaining. I see my imperfections. I feel every ounce of pain. Needless to say that I envy those of you who see the glass half full.
We can battle the darkness in us, as I have done for many years. We can plead with God to change us. I often wonder how I could still struggle so much in this area after being a Christian for so long but then I consider, there must be a purpose in it.
What if we stopped wasting our energy trying to smother those fiery parts of ourselves that we cannot extinguish? What if we sought God in the fire rather than spending our time trying to navigate around the flame? I don’t know about you, but every time I tread a new path, my faults follow me. I am the same. There seems to be no escaping the dark parts of me.
So what if we embraced the dark parts of ourselves. What if God could use them? That’s right. What if God could use that part of you that you hate about yourself? What if he could use your darkness to bring glory to him?Nicola Maree @trustintheword
I know, it doesn’t make scientific sense. How can goodness come from heartache? How can beauty come from pain? Listen to what 1 Corinthians 1:27-28 says:
“But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise. God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the things of this world that are common and looked down on. God chose things considered unimportant to do away with things considered important.” (NIRV)
It doesn’t make sense…. But God.
The thing is that no one can relate to a perfect Christian. Mind you, a perfect Christian doesn’t exist. No one can relate to the persona that we feel we are meant to convey as Christians. We think we are meant to show the world that we have it all together. We think we are meant to show the world that we don’t have any fear. We think we are meant to show the world that once we were sinners, but now we have Jesus, our life is perfect – and that simply isn’t true.
Yes, we are called to follow Jesus and let him transform us to be more like him, but our lives, this side of heaven, will never be perfect.
We know Jesus was perfect. He never sinned. He never gave in to temptation. He never hurt another person. But do you know, his life wasn’t perfect! Jewish leaders were out to kill him. He was betrayed by his best friends. Judas betrayed him for cash. Peter disowned him for fear. Jesus was brutally beaten and mocked. He was dragged up a hill and nailed to a cross. Soldiers jeered and abused him.
Jesus’ life was far from “perfect” so why do we expect our lives to be perfect? I think we know in our souls, that we will always encounter struggle. We have come to grips with the fact that ‘in this world, we will have trouble’ (John 16:33). And yet on the outside, we feel the pressure to put up a facade that our lives are perfect. We have convinced ourselves that we must conceal our struggle, that suffering is ungodly and that if we are experiencing pain, then we must have done something wrong.
Jesus spoke about this when he healed the man born blind (John 9:1-12).
‘His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”
“Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.” (John 9:2-3)
In this passage we learn that suffering isn’t necessarily a result of sin. I do believe that there are situations where we have to live with the consequences of our actions, however, in this passage we learn that sometimes, God lets us suffer for a time, so that God’s glory can be displayed in us. After this, Jesus told the man to go and wash in a pool and then, he went home seeing. That’s right, a man who had been blind from birth was now able to see.
What if we saw the dark parts of our lives like the eyes of the blind man? What if we saw the potential for God to meet us in our weakness? What would have happened if the man hadn’t been out that day? What if he had stayed home, hiding his disability? He would never have been in a place for Jesus to meet him.
If you are like me, and you are acutely aware of the darkness within you, God is saying, ‘Now is the time… to worship in the Spirit and in truth’ (John 4:24). We don’t have to pretend to be someone we are not with God. In fact, true worship is found in authenticity. God never called us to present this facade to the world. God called us to be his light, which could be described as truth. Our construction of light is not light at all if it is not founded on truth.
I pray that you will come to understand that God’s power is made perfect in our weakness. When we bring the dark places of our lives open before him, he is able to transform them so that his power and glory might be known.
Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” (Mark 2:17)
We are called in the midst of our sin, despite our dysfunction and regardless of our failures. Jesus says here, he didn’t come for those who think they are perfect. He didn’t die for those who believe they can do it on their own. He came to call sinners to follow him.
Paul put it this way: “Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life.” (1 Timothy 1:15-16)
Our lives can be an example to others. The fact that we are broken, and yet God uses us. The fact that we are hurting, and yet have faith. God gets the glory in that. If we are perfect, we leave no room for God to move.Nicola @trustintheword
I challenge you to consider that your darkness serves a purpose. Stop seeing it as a limitation on what God can do through you. We think that by revealing our struggles, then people will think that God is not good. This could not be further from the truth. For if another broken person can see that God can help you in your brokenness, they might start considering what God can do for them. People can’t relate to perfection because it doesn’t exist. But people can relate to suffering because it is a part of the human experience. Our dark places will not put out God’s light. John assures us, “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:5).
What have you been concealing? What have you been denying? What have you been feeling ashamed of that God actually wants to use to bring him glory? Let God’s light shine in your darkness.
Paul describes the concept of boasting about our darkness when he says, ‘ I will not boast about myself, except about my weaknesses” (2 Corinthians 12:5)
This is one of my favourite verses, that God brings to my mind often when I am feeling weak. I pray that it encourages you and speaks to the brokenness in you.
“Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:8-10)