From The Editor: Gratitude in Darkness
By: Kristin Mudge
Some days life is a party; the dominoes fall into place, the blessings keep on coming, and you just can’t help praising God for His amazing work in your life. But if we’re honest, that’s not most days.
Most days are hard. Most days we’re busy, tired, and stretched too thin. We’re overwhelmed by the everyday and underwhelmed by the mundane. We can quickly lose sight of the grace we’re granted to simply exist in God’s world.
And some days are harder still. We grieve, we struggle just to breathe, it’s a battle to even get out of bed. How can we remember God’s goodness when all we see is the dark?
Several years ago, my husband and I joined his family on a Caribbean cruise. At one of our stops, we went on an excursion that included exploring an underground river. We donned wetsuits and thick-soled water shoes, hiking down into a cave system that contained miles and miles of underground river. The only illumination of the ethereal passages came from our meager headlamps as we trekked, paddled, or floated through the dark chambers of water and rock. About an hour into our journey, our guide had us stop and turn off our headlamps. Never before or since have I experienced such deep darkness. A dark so intense you begin to question reality itself. After a moment he turned on his flashlight, the world flaring back into existence, the weak beam of light suddenly seeming as bright as the sun after such darkness.
When you are surrounded by deep darkness in your life, even the smallest flicker of light makes a difference. A kind word from someone, a scripture read, a memory reframed for healing—our eyes automatically seek that light.
The first chapter of the Gospel of John speaks poetically of Jesus, referring to Him as the Word, as life, and of that life being the light of all humanity. John goes on to say in verse 5, “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”
He’s there. He’s light in the darkness, and your darkness cannot overcome Him. Even on days when it hurts to breathe, if you just open your eyes, He is there.
As we take time during this month to reflect on our lives and what we have to be thankful for, remember: you don’t have to have grand moments or mountaintop experiences, God is also in the tiny parts that make up life. Let’s find gratitude wherever the light shines.