Tag Archives: dark

My Killing

What picture comes to mind when you think of an island?   Mine is of a plush and gorgeous spot of land, in the middle of water where plants and fruits grow in abundance.  In my mind’s eye, every time I picture an island, it’s the closest thing to paradise I can imagine.

When I read Revelation and the fact that John the disciple was exiled to Patmos as punishment for preaching Jesus, I thought that isn’t such a bad punishment.  I was wrong. While further studying Patmos I discovered it was a barren island that was incapable of producing anything but rocks.  No greenery, no delectable fruits and veggies, no trees even.  Just caves and rocks.  Prisoners were sent there to mine the caves.  It was a place no one wanted to be.  The Bible doesn’t mention anything about anyone else being there but John so imagine with me, if the island was truly barren with no shade, nothing to eat or enjoy and on top of that, being there completely alone how it must have felt. Patmos actually means the title of this blog, “my killing”.

It’s not a stretch to some to imagine a place like this.  It’s not hard to remember a time feeling completely isolated and alone with no sign or site of any kind of relief.  Some are there right now. In a split second, one’s life can change forever and our normal flies right out the window.  Devastation has come to live and sometimes we feel we can’t recover or worse, we don’t want to.

Out of the darkest, loneliest and most barren times in life, God can produce something amazing.  If we tune in to him and tune out our feelings and how we perceive the place or the situation, it’s possible for Him to produce in us many things.  Faith can grow when nothing else can.  Trust can flourish and begin to color the blandness of an ugly reality.  The mind and heart can be forever changed when they know the God of our lives.

John could have spent his time mulling over every wrong done to him and how unfair it was for him to be a prisoner to start with, let alone exiled on an island no one wanted to be on but he didn’t.  Instead he chose to still – after all he had been through – look for and listen to God. I imagine he rattled the stillness of that place by singing to Jesus at the top of his lungs.  From his faithfulness and steadfast heart, God gave John the most amazing gift – the Revelation.

We can receive beautiful things, comforting words, strength, joy, peace and a growing faithfulness from God during our darkest times.  Stay close to the Father and keep staying close.

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Silent Lambs

She’s not how she used to be.  Once vibrant and bright, she’s faded and silent.  What happened to her?

Look at him.  Used to be, you could feel the atmosphere changing when he walked in the room but now he’s barely noticed, blending in with everyone else. What happened to him?

Observe yourself.  Do you have the same spiritual vitality you did 20 years ago…one year ago? What happened to you?

Life deals some hard punches.  When starting out on our Christian journey we feel our feet barely touch the ground. We have to share positive words and smiles because we’re overflowing with what God has done for us and it’s impossible not to share it.  As we deal more and more with reality our once brave, bright light dulls when it’s exposed to the struggles and pain of the world around us.  We relentlessly pursue closer walks with God to survive the hardships of life trying our best not to conform and through it, we find we sometimes lose our voice.  We find our countenance changes with the weight of the crosses we carry.  The lambs sometimes go silent.

Go to the grocery store on a Sunday afternoon after the church hour and watch.  The retail world says we are some of the rudest, most inconsiderate customers.  The opposite should be true. When we leave the parking lot of the church often we forget our mission and purpose. We’re supposed to make our corners brighter and better, not darker and colder. What happened to us?

We’re heavy-laden with our burdens sometimes not seeing or thinking of anyone or anything other than what’s going on with us.

That’s the enemy’s mission and we’re falling for it. Perhaps that’s the purpose of what we’re going through at this moment: to shut us up; to rob us of our joy, our content countenance and our desire to show love and kindness wherever we are.

Let’s choose not to be silent today.  Let’s ask God and believe Him, regardless of our circumstances, for strength, outward joy and be who He’s called us to be wherever we are, what we’re going through regardless of the discontentment around us.  Remember?  We’re strategically endowed with a Spirit who is greater than anything or anyone we face.  We’re where we are for a divine purpose and if our Spirits are silent and we look and act like the lost around us, what good are we?

Psalm 39:2 “I was mute and silent, I refrained [even] from good, and my sorrow grew worse.”

The Place of In Between

Saturday.  Friday had happened and they saw the One whom they had based everything on, left their lives for believing He was Messiah…tortured, nails drive through His hands and feet, hung on a cross and take His last breath.  So many thoughts and doubts must have raced through their confused minds.  How could the Son of God – the Promise – die?  I feel sure they watched from afar as His lifeless body was taken down.

Do you know what hopeless feels like?  To have everything you believed in…believed for die right in front of you? I imagine what the disciples, Jesus’ mother and the other followers were feeling was the epitome of that word.  I wonder if they even remembered the many conversations He had with them, telling them that exactly what had happened would and that it wasn’t what it appeared to be or felt like it was. I imagine they were so grieved and perhaps scared that they had forgotten.

Can you relate?  You just experienced a devastating blow and after what you’ve been through you may feel it’s over, that there is no point in even hoping, let alone trying to go from here.  This is where everything changes and you’re not sure if you have the courage to believe, one more time, enough to go on.  That’s the place of in between where feelings and faith collide.  On one hand, you want to trust and believe enough to take the next step, but you feel like your world as you knew it has just ended and there is really no point.

That’s the place where dreams die and bitterness and depression creep in…if we let them.  If we’re not careful, we can find the courage to walk on from that place and allow our faith to die.  Don’t let that happen.

Hang on, just a bit longer.  Remember and recite every single promise God has made to YOU.  If He is allowing you to endure devastation, it’s part of a greater destiny.  Sure, it hurts, and absolutely, you’ll be changed forever because of it – perhaps that’s grief’s intent.  We can choose to go from here and be changed for the better or be infected by bitter.

In that place of in between, God is the same as He was yesterday.  Still in control, still loving and still all-knowing.  Just like the disciples on that dark Saturday, although they were devastated they made it through it.  You will too.  “Be not afraid, only believe”.  Mark 5:36