A dear friend is going through a pretty mean divorce, and the constant wrestling with her husband over the children’s schedules, whose turn it is to have them, and other parenting issues are really wearing her down. He is constantly pulling the rug out from under her, so that she never quite knows whether she is coming or going. His latest trick is to change arrangements by text minutes before an appointed time. She is worn out.
She has tried to be upbeat and positive through it all, and to accommodate him as much as possible. Their children love and need their dad, and she works hard to ensure that they have regular access to him. When he has asked for more time, or needed to switch to a different time, she has gladly given it. But after describing yet another very tense interaction with him, when he refused to take the kids as prearranged in order to get back at her for some imagined offense, she looked at her hands in her lap and said, “It is getting so hard to be a light in this darkness.”
We know we are called to be the light. Jesus came to be the light of the world, and we are called to reflect that light into the darkness of our surroundings:
Matthew 5 (New International Version)
14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.
16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
In over 20 years of counseling, I have noticed a certain myopia that comes over people when a relationship breaks apart. The daily hurts and struggles, the shock of I do’s turning into I don’t, I can’t, and I won’t, and the sheer energy drain that it puts on people is exhausting. Folks in the midst of this often get lost in the daily battles, and can’t see the long view.
When something like this comes into your life, it is important to keep your eyes looking upward and outward. There you will find Jesus looking straight back at you. His word assures us that he will never leave us or forsake us, even to the ends of the earth. It is also important to not lose sight of who you are, which is so easy when you are being pushed and shoved at every turn. Regardless of what the other person is doing, remember WHO you are, and WHOSE you are. You are the Lord’s beloved. You will get through this, with God’s help.
My friend is a light. She is radiant, and glows with joy and the delight of the Lord. I know that she will get though this, and by remaining true to the God who created her, she will retain her sense of self even when darkness tries to invade.
Are you in the middle of a battle? Do you feel as though the darkness has taken away your shine? Are you losing yourself? Take heart. Stay focused on God’s commandments, his blessings, and his light. Sunrise breaks through the darkness for good people. Grace, mercy, and justice will come.
Psalm 112 The Message (MSG)
Blessed man, blessed woman, who fear God,
Who cherish and relish his commandments,
Their children robust on the earth,
And the homes of the upright—how blessed!
Their houses brim with wealth
And a generosity that never runs dry.
Sunrise breaks through the darkness for good people—
God’s grace and mercy and justice!
Sunrise at Avalon Pier by Michelle Robertson