Out of the Darkness// Face to Face, Part 8 [Devo]

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Out of The Darkness

Have you ever found yourself in complete darkness?

My home is located on a country road lined with trees. While the trees provide a lovely backdrop, especially during the autumn months, they also tend to sway and topple over during a storm or high wind. This leads to downed power lines and the loss of electricity several times a year. We sometimes wake up in the middle of the night in total darkness or suddenly find ourselves in a pitch black room when the power goes out.

I must admit, there is something unsettling about being in the dark, especially if I’m alone. It always brings me comfort to light a candle or flick on a flashlight to bring a little light back into the room.
The Book of John tells us of a man who had been living his life in complete darkness:
“As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man who had been blind from birth. “Rabbi,” his disciples asked him, “why was this man born blind? Was it because of his own sins or his parents’ sins?” “It was not because of his sins or his parents’ sins,” Jesus answered. “This happened so the power of God could be seen in him.”

(John 9:1-3, NASB)
Faulty theology led the disciples to question if sin was the cause of this man’s blindness. This is a question that believers might find themselves asking when they or others encounter hardship. We can find comfort in Jesus’ words about the blind man. We can also find it in the story of Job, who was “blameless — a man of complete integrity. He feared God and stayed away from evil.” (Job 1:1). Yet Job endured unimaginable suffering and loss. We don’t always understand why innocent people experience such painful circumstances, but Jesus assures us that the ultimate goal is to display the power of God.

We don’t always understand why innocent people experience such painful circumstances.

The blind man received complete healing — both physical and spiritual sight. When questioned by the Pharisees about the details of his healing, the man spoke these simple, yet profound words, “I was blind, and now I can see!” (John 9:25). He likely didn’t understand how the mud and water brought healing, but he had faith in the One who healed.

We don’t need to have it all figured out. I can attest that I still have many questions about why a loved one has dealt with serious illness and suffering. However, I cling to this scripture found in Ephesians 3:20:
“Now all glory to God, who is able, through his
mighty power at work within us,
to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.”
I wonder if the blind man and his parents had given up all hope of the man ever receiving his sight. God’s purposes and timing aren’t always clear. A few years ago, I encountered a circumstance so heartbreaking and seemingly never ending, I was tempted to believe there was no hope. I’d prayed and prayed (and prayed), but the situation remained bleak. Nearly two years passed before I could begin to see God working and answering my desperate prayers — although I’m certain he was working all the while.

If you find yourself stumbling around in the dark, don’t give up. You may feel like the darkness is closing in and your eyes may be straining to see even the tiniest flicker of light, but I encourage you to call out to Jesus. You will find Him there, waiting to lead you out of the darkness.
Author: Michelle Trimmer, Groups Coordinator
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