A few months’ ago, Rebecca and I had the privilege of travelling to Sedona, AZ. We’d never been, but we’d seen pictures, read about it, and heard stories. We thought it’d be great to go somewhere completely different than our northeast Ohio context, with its red rocks, cliffs, trails, and cacti, and it was a little warmer than back home…
After working all day we took an evening flight, and although we gained several hours because of the time difference, it was well past dark when we landed in Phoenix, and we still had to drive a ways. It was also storming pretty heavily, something we weren’t really expecting in the desert.
We picked up our luggage and our rental car and headed north. As we drove out of the city, the lights diminished, the rain intensified, and we couldn’t see much more than the taillights of the cars in front of us. It was a dark, tedious couple of hours! Well after midnight, under a moonless, starless sky, we pulled into the driveway of our Air B&B rental on the outskirts of Sedona, unloaded, and crawled into bed. We had no idea what awaited us the next morning.
Awakened by the light of a new day, I rolled out of bed and put the coffee on. Then I walked to the glass patio door and looked out, stunned. In front of me, stretching high into the sky, was a red mountain, not half a mile away! We didn’t have any idea the night before that it was looming over us as we pulled in and unloaded. And it was like that over and over again as we drove around that morning. Mountains were everywhere! Cathedral Rock, Bell Rock, Doe Mesa, Thunder Mountain, Coffee Pot Rock… Everywhere we looked we were surrounded by amazing, majestic red peaks, glistening with the previous night’s rain, standing tall and strong against the morning mist! They’d been there the whole time, but we didn’t know it.
Just because we weren’t aware didn’t change what was there. Just because we couldn’t see them didn’t mean those peaks were any less real. They were there the whole time, just as real and strong and beautiful as ever, whether we saw them or not.
There have been times when my experience with God has been much the same. The rain and storms and darkness of life close in on me and I’ve found myself questioning if God and His truth are real. Is He there? Because I can’t see Him.
But me seeing God doesn’t make Him real. He’s there whether I see Him or not. I love a phrase from a song by The Rend Collective written a few years back…
“What’s true in the light is still true in the dark…”
Think about that for a minute. Ponder the truth of that phrase… Darkness doesn’t change what’s real. It just means reality might be harder to see.
In these days of upheaval, with a pandemic and financial instability and racial tensions and political conflict and a ‘Godzilla Saharan dust cloud’ and murder hornets…, it’s easy to feel like we’re shrouded in darkness and God has left us. Maybe you’ve wondered about where God went this Spring. He’s there…with you…as you navigate the darkness. Just because its dark or confusing or hard doesn’t mean God has left. You can trust Him, even in the dark.
Scripture promises over and over again that God is with us…
“And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
“Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me…”
“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble…
The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Be still, and know that I am God…”
During this tumultuous time, it’s easy to question what is going on. A lot of people are spending a lot of time and energy on theories and predictions and stress-related rants. We are certainly not short on opinions and perspectives these days!
But what if we took some of that time and energy and we were still…quiet…contemplating the reality of God. What if we intentionally reminded ourselves of God’s Truth, which hasn’t changed.
He’s still God. Even in the dark.
Know that today.