Soul Devotional - June 20, 2014

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I can remember as a little girl that I have never been real keen of the dark, unless I'm trying to go to sleep. Other than that, give me lots of light. I was thinking about that word "dark" and how sometimes being in the dark can really make us afraid. It literally means "devoid of light".

There's been many times when I've really been scared of the dark.   The fear of being alone and darkness stemmed from the many break-ins that happened to my family home in a secluded neighbourhood in the outskirts of the city. One time in particular that I remember very vividly was when Lauren was about three years old and we were at our cottage in the Whiteshell by ourselves. It was the beginning of the week and all my lake neighbours had left to go home. John was leaving with the car on a two-day road trip to Ontario. During the day, we had a wonderful time swimming, going on walks to the beach and loving our time together at the lake. It wasn’t until around 11:00pm when I was sitting alone on the couch and I remember looking out across the lake at the moon reflecting off the water and thinking how still it was, no lights from the cabins around me, it was pitch black for miles. The night seemed liked forever; I couldn’t sleep because all I could think about is how would I protect Lauren if something were to happen to us. No neighbours, no car, no cell phone and no escape. I just sat there overcome with fear and my heart began racing what felt like a hundred miles a minute.  I remember trying to pray but even that didn’t seem to help at the time. I didn’t know what to do, all rational thinking was gone and I was left alone to care for my daughter.  That whole unknown world in the dark gave me quite a scare. Things just seem more intense, all consuming and different in the dark. Light on the other hand has a way of casting radiance, makes it possible to see things more clearly, and in my situation safety and peace.

There are many instances in the bible where people got stuck in the dark and then to see how they came out of the dark with God's help.

In Mark 4:35-37, the disciples were out on the boat in the evening and a storm came up? As evening came, Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s cross to the other side of the lake.” So they took Jesus in the boat and started out, leaving the crowds behind (although other boats followed).  But soon a fierce storm came up. High waves were breaking into the boat, and it began to fill with water.

In the end all it took was for Jesus to say, "peace be still". You find that in verse 39 of that chapter. When Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Silence! Be still!” Suddenly the wind stopped, and there was a great calm. Just by His voice, the Lord can calm anything even at night or in the dark.

God brought the disciples through the storm. We don't have to be afraid of the dark because the Lord will be with us. Sure, sometimes it's not the most comfortable place to be but we have the God who made the dark and the light and that should be a comfort. He's going to be there for us.

I love the fact that the Lord is there to utter things like "peace be still" as He did for the disciples. I'm so glad that the same God that did those things for them thousands of years ago is my Light today!

Some time ago in one of our staff prayer meetings, Paul Winter read a passage of Scripture that spoke so very deeply to my heart.  I can remember thinking that was meant for me today.  It was Psalm 91. When I'm afraid or when I feel like I'm alone in the dark in an unknown place and there's nothing to light the way, I go to these verses. I'm working toward memorizing the whole chapter so that I can turn to it in periods of darkness. Verse 4 & 5 of that Psalm says, He will cover you with his feathers.  He will shelter you with his wings.  His faithful promises are your armor and protection.  Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night, nor the arrow that flies in the day.

If you haven't read Psalm 91 in awhile or aren't familiar with it, look it up and read every verse and take in every word. It's a great way to keep the darkness from overtaking you.

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Joanne Ritchie
Personal Assistant/Office Manager | Soul Sanctuary
info@soulsanctuary.ca