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  • Maggie Wallem Rowe

Can’t See How It’s Going to Work Out? Here’s What Good About Being in the Dark

(Congratulations to Kristen L of Wheaton, Illinois – winner of last week’s giveaway book Life Lessons for Moms by Carol Kent.)

Remember the old joke about the two differing ways to approach the day when you first wake up?

There’s the cheerful greeting, “Good morning, Lord!” or the churlish groan, “Good Lord, it’s morning.”

An exceedingly painful situation affecting our church family at its very core finally came to a head this past Sunday – a congregational vote that was the result of thousands of hours of concerted effort by our pastors, staff, and lay leadership over the course of 14 months. In the last seven years, the church has persevered through the challenges of a building campaign, the pandemic, political elections that divided the country, and now the situation at hand.

We were weary, anxious, and deeply concerned for the future when over 400 of us gathered Sunday afternoon. Some walked through the building, covering every room in prayer, while others circumnavigated the perimeter, nodding at the polite young officer of the peace who was there just in case things got, well, a little tetchy.

When you awoke this morning, did you find yourself purely delighted to be greeting another day, or were your first thoughts pulled like a magnet towards the opposite pole of that situation causing you anxiety?

The adult son or daughter whose life choices have led your beloved child in a different direction than the one in which you lovingly raised them.

The chronic physical pain that, diagnosed or not, refuses to resolve.

The empathy that clutches at your heart over the suffering in Libya, Morocco, Maui.

The deep sadness you feel over the loved one who died too soon, leaving you alone with your memories.

But is it possible that something valuable is growing in the darkness —something you’re unable to see when the comfort of easy living lulls you into complacency?

Could God have a special melody for you – a frequency you can only hear when your spiritual ears are attuned out of sheer need?

“By day the LORD directs his love, at night his song is with me— a prayer to the God of my life.” Psalm 42:8 NIV

On Sunday morning, the worship team led our congregation through a medley of praise that lifted our spirits and redirected our focus.

One song in particular grabbed me by the throat, choking me with tears that silenced my voice, allowing me to hear the voices rising from my brothers and sisters instead.

"If it's not good, then He's not done with it yet."

Perhaps you need this promise today, too, because there will be joy in the morning.

And release from your mourning.

Maybe not today or tomorrow, but it’s coming.

“Though faith shines in full sun, it grows depth in the dark.” Alicia Britt Chole

That situation waking you before dawn? I don’t need to see the scabs on your knees to know where it’s sending you. You’re growing, friend, and we who love you bear witness to the stretch marks as you reach towards the light.

I’ve just begun to read Dr. Alicia Britt Chole’s brilliant new work, The Night is Normal: A Guide Through Spiritual Pain.

A gifted musician as well as author and mentor, Alicia just released her first song, “Even in the Dark of Days.” When I first heard it this past week, it was as if an ice floe broke away and floated free from my heart.

Please take a few moments and listen to “Dark of Days” as performed by worship leader ChiChi Onyekanne, with background vocals by Darlene Zschech, composer of “Shout to the Lord.” (Click here or on the link below to listen for free on Spotify).

And then?

Do let me know in the comments if perhaps YOU were the one who needed these words today.

"Even in the dark of days

Even in the night of faith

Even when You hide Your ways

You are good"

As for Sunday’s vote?

It was an overwhelming, God-glorifying, future-forward YES.

“For all of God’s promises have been fulfilled in Christ with a resounding 'Yes!'" 2 Cor. 1:20

- Maggie Wallem Rowe, 2023

Maggie Wallem Rowe is a dramatist and Christian speaker who writes from Peace Ridge, her home in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. The author of This Life We Share and Life is Sweet,Y’all, Maggie is learning to surrender her need to know how things will work out.


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