Welcome to the blog of author Marlo Schalesky!

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Finding God in the Dark

Hi Friends,

I wanted to share a little of the (in)courage devotional that was recently published. I thought this bit might be helpful to you if you find yourself in a dark place in life where it's hard to see the way forward.

In the devotion, I shared about our daily (and nightly!) 24/7 journey with Jayden (age 9) who has Type 1 Diabetes, and then this ...


This is the pain I endure, the suffering I cannot escape. Day after day. Night after night. An incurable disease. A beloved son. 
            But my pain is not unique. It’s no greater, no less than yours. A lost job, a broken marriage, an estranged child, an untimely death, a scary diagnosis, an incurable disease. None of us get through life unscathed. None have life just as we wish it. 
            So as I stand here watching, waiting, hoping and afraid to hope, I wonder ...
What does it mean to encounter Christ in the dark? What does it mean to live a life of faith when life is scary and you can’t see you way? How do I walk through each day, each hour, each minute of a life that hasn’t turned out the way I’d dreamed?
            Sometimes I have no idea. But then I remember Bartimaeus (Mark 10). A blind man, sitting in the dark, on the road from Jericho to Jerusalem. A man who didn’t let blindness, bad odds, a hopeless disease, scorn, fear, doubt, or despair stop him.
            From Bartimaeus, I learn five things about finding God in the dark:
            1) Listen for Rumors of God
            When Bartimaeus was sitting in the dark on the side of road, he wasn’t focused on his problems, his lack of resources, or his poor chances of being healed. He was paying attention to any sign, however small, of hope. When the crowd passed, he was listening so carefully that he heard the name of Jesus of Nazareth. It only took a rumor, a whisper, a hint of God coming near for him to begin to shout for mercy.
            2) Persist!
            As soon as Bartimaeus shouted for the Son of David to have mercy on him, the crowd tried to shush him. But - and I love this! - instead of being discouraged, Barty shouted all the louder.
            3) Throw Off Your Cloak - He’s Calling You
            Then Jesus called out to Bartimaeus, who leapt up and threw off his cloak, the very garment that he used to catch coins when he begged. He cast aside his security, his “back-up plan” and, even though he was still in the dark, he made his way to Jesus. 
            4) Know What You Want
            Jesus asked Bartimaeus a simple question: What do you want? And without hesitation, Barty answers do. He didn’t want power or prestige (unlike James and John, who were asked the same question just a few verses before Bartimaeus’s story). He just wanted to see. He wanted to see Jesus. Simple as that.
            5) The Right Prayer
            And Jesus opened blind Barty’s eyes, and the first thing Barty was the face of Jesus. Just Jesus. Because “Lord, I want to see,” is the right prayer for us all. 
            Lord, in my pain, in my fear, in my darkness and doubt, I want to see Jesus. He is enough.

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