There have been various times in my life when I have come to a two way intersection. My choice is to curse God and walk away or to cry out in anguish and choose to believe in his goodness. To believe without proof in the moment he is still good. In these moments when I am faced with the choice I want to run to the darkness. In my anger I want to curse God, I want to know where he is and why the hell earth hurts so horribly bad. I want to know why life doesn’t make sense and why it has to be the way it is.
I get angry at scripture. I hear it in my head tell me to give thanks in all things, to pray without ceasing and to have hope, joy, love. Yet in the moment when I am faced with the two choices my spirit and I am sure the heavenly realms are duking it out for my soul. The darkness whispers like the black cloud in Harry Potter. The one that sucks the souls out of the living beings. The cloud lurks about and waits for me to give it permission. I am a child of God and it cannot come close to me without permission.
My flesh looks at the wispy, pillar of blackness and my flesh wants to lie on it. I want to lay in the darkness and not feel. I want something, anything to take away the pain. I watch my dreams take flight and I wait in the cocoon of change and I want so badly to emerge. I try to emerge and I get shoved right back in the cocoon for more transformation. The fire is hot in the cocoon and I am pleading and crying for release. Lord, release my soul from the agony.
The release does not come and I again find myself at the entrance to a fiery furnace. Again, I stand at two crossroads. I can curse God or I can trust him. What if I cannot stand the heat? What if I cry uncle? I can’t do this on my own! Where are you God? I want so very badly to allow the darkness to take me over. I don’t want to hope in tomorrow, I don’t want to praise and worship his name. Sometimes when I come to the crossroads I don’t make a choice, I sit down and stare at both choices. I know both roads are painful and going to be hard. I need time to be angry, I need time to let God know how angry I am with him.
Then, some how, my soul is ready, my emotions and my brain are ready to get up and proceed down the road. I choose the road I knew I would all along. The one I will find my Lord Jesus on. Sometimes just walking the direction of the road towards Jesus is painful. It means I am surrendering my confusion of the world around me and the pain I feel in exchange for stepping out in faith and choosing to trust what I do not know or can comprehend. Once surrender happens, then peace comes flooding in.
The situation does not always poof get fixed. Sometimes the waves continue to crash, but the pain gets easier to bear. It becomes a trusting, restful grief and eventually emerges into butterflies and flowers. The garden that is created is more glorious because of the pain and grief it took to blossom.
It is a cycle that continues on and will continue until Jesus comes back or I go to heaven. This is where faith becomes true faith. It is the place where I say, as Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego said to King Nebuchadnezzar, “we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. 17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us[c] from Your Majesty’s hand. 18 But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”