A Word for When the Way Gets Dark

Written by Micah Joy | ChattHOP Staff

It was the middle of the night and I woke up with terrors. Shaking and breathing hard, I checked on my baby girl. She slept peacefully.  I shook my head and whispered for God to please come and help me.  My way had grown dark, very dark.  And it was not because I chose for it to be dark. It seemed that my efforts to live a faithful life before the Lord had let me HERE.  Here... where I was often waking up with demon-ridden nightmares. Here... where I was raising my baby alone after a tragedy. Here... where my dreams for a beautiful and fruitful life seemed to have completely died and gone the opposite direction.  Here... in isolation. I felt the presence of darkness and torment pressing in on me day by day.

What is there left to say when there is nothing left inside?

I spent so many days in that season pleading and longing for the pain to go away.  And you know what? I learned to just sit in the pain. I learned to feel it fully and not feel relief.

But in this place, there’s a word I learned. It’s a word that I have uttered when I stand at the crossroads of hope and despair.

Maranatha.

“Come, Lord Jesus”.

And oh have I writhed and heaved this word from the depths of my soul! I’m learning that this life is one huge pilgrimage.  And we are all heading somewhere.

I’m often reminded in the hard moments that God’s heart for us is to not settle down for life in this earth as if there is nothing ahead to long for.

Look at this beautiful reality that we are to lift our hearts to:

Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”  (Revelation 21)

What a picture.  What a future that is meant to define today.

And we are wired to long for it.

Romans 8 describes this longing as  a “groaning” within us and within all of creation.  Peter reminds us that we are "temporary residents and foreigners."

Do you see? We aren’t meant to be fully satisfied here. There’s a groaning happening all around us. And if we don’t lift our eyes to see the glory of what God has in store, we will despair. We will absolutely despair to the point of losing hope, of losing faith.

I love Psalm 84. It describes this pilgrimage…

Blessed are those whose strength is in you, whose hearts are set on pilgrimage.

As they pass through the Valley of Baka,they make it a place of springs; the autumn rains also cover it with pools.

They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion.

Seasons change and I rejoice in the present "summer" of my soul.

Yet, some days I feel the brokenness of this earth so strongly and I am reminded to whisper maranatha.

Let us be friends that remind one another to pray this prayer as we journey through this life.  May all of the pain, loss, grief, brokenness and groaning lead us to pray:

Come, Lord Jesus. Come and make all things new. Your Bride hasn’t forgotten You, and we will never be satisfied until that glorious day that You have promised will come.