6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ. 7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.
Brokenness and adversity came into the world with sin. I have spent the better part of the past 20 years on a journey with Jesus through brokenness and we are not finished yet. It has not been an easy road by any means. We have gone through dark places. Together. We have peeled off layers of scar tissue built up over my wounded heart. Together. He has never asked me to go into those places of brokenness alone. Sometimes he had to carry me. There were times I could not see him and felt lost and afraid.
I went on a tour of Mammoth Cave in Kentucky when I was a teenager. While we were in the middle, the guide turned off the light. I put my hand on my nose directly in front of my eyes and could not see my hand. There was not one ray of light. It was the darkest I had ever experienced. At one point of this journey, that was an analogy of how I felt. I could not see where I was going. Luckily, I had hold of Jesus and he knew exactly where we were going. We have “the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.” It guides our way.
This life is hard and just because we are walking with Jesus does not make troubles go away. What happens is HE goes through things with us. That is how we can say: we are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. I had to cling to those words as Jesus carried me through the darkness. They are words he gave me in the midst of my despair to give me hope. The best decision I ever made was to believe Jesus—not only to believe IN him, but to believe what he said was truth. There is an end in sight; it is just ahead and I can see it because of his light. The destination has a name: freedom! Each step I take with him gets me closer.
8Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.
Opening my bible is like walking with a friend. It reminds me of the journey we’ve been on together. As I turn the pages I see notes and dates—reminders of conversations with my Lord. There are the times I prayed, the times I cried, and the times He took me to exactly what I needed to hear at that precise moment. There are nuggets of truth, conviction of sin in my life, and words of love spoken to me. It is proof of his love for ME because the words become personal. No one knows me as he does and he allows me to know him through its pages. He has shown me what true intimacy looks like.
O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water. 2 I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory. 3 Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. 4 I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands. 5 I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you.
Father I thank you that you take such good care of me. You fill me when I’m empty, encourage me when I’m faltering, and pick me up when I fall. Your love is better than life. This journey we have been on is difficult and there are times I wanted to quit. But you pursue me and your love draws me. Jesus has carried me when I have been weak and I will sing praises to him forever. It is in His name I pray, Amen