Archive for the ‘Darkness’ Tag

I Have No Answers   3 comments

For weeks I have been trying to fight off the soul-sucking depression that envelopes me.  When I can work through the darkness–uncover the reasons and respond with healthy steps–my depression turns into an instrument of growth, but for now my insight is deaf and blind, and so, blocked from any resolution, I try to distract myself with work or entertainment, naps or walks or cuddling with my pooches, just to keep the misery at bay.  That fixes nothing, simply postpones the falling night, but at least it makes life manageable for a while longer.  Still somewhere underneath, the darkness gathers strength pushing more often and irresistibly passed my efforts to block it.  The muddled mutterings of discouragement and hopelessness become louder, more insistent, and having nothing to counter the assault, I find each day a little more of my emotional footing crumbling.

Posted October 5, 2015 by janathangrace in Personal

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Light in the Dark [God’s Love Letters]   5 comments

Matthew 1:4 And Nahshon fathered Salmon.

The name Salmon appears only once in the Old Testament, at the end of Ruth in a four-verse genealogy.  (He appears one other time as Salma in a mirror genealogy of Chronicles). 

In the town of Bethlehem, Salmon’s son Boaz plays supporting actor in the romance play Ruth.  As a historical introduction to Ruth, the book of Judges tells of the steep moral decline in Israel, ending with a 3-day civil war in which tens of thousands of Israelis are killed.  Bethlehem was at the epicenter of this huge national crisis for it all began with one of their own daughters being brutally gang-raped and dismembered.  Without a timeline we do not know whether Salmon was a soldier in this battle, but he certainly struggled against the corruption that engulfed his country.

Salmon lived in the days of the Judges, and that book finishes ominously, “In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.”  But springing up from this maelstrom of evil is Ruth, a book of hope, whose last verse reads: “To Boaz was born Obed, and to Obed, Jesse, and to Jesse was born David.”  That is to say, King David, forefather of the promised Messiah.  Yet Salmon had no glimpse of this hope.  He died in the night that swallowed his nation.

In spite of this, Salmon (according to Matthew’s genealogy) was in the center of the world’s great channel of redemption.  Without knowing it, he was the father from whom the Christ was to be born.  His life and history and progeny were surrounded by God’s richest outpouring of grace, the giving of His very Self to the world.  How might this realization have lit up his darkness with hope, his trials with patience, his life with purpose?   And amazingly, we are each in that very place of Salmon… in a far better place, actually.  

We are not simply in a long line of succession through whom God’s grace will eventually come, but we are today channels of God’s grace to the world.  The Messiah has come.  He is here.   If Christ is in us, then He is shining out from us to the world, despite how troubled and confused and pointless our lives may seem or how foreboding the shadows. I am his candlestick, and it is mine to burn, however feebly.  It is His to shine that light where He sees fit, and He always makes the best use of every flicker.  I am His vital partner in this bedraggled world’s salvation.

Posted November 12, 2012 by janathangrace in Bible Grace

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