Closer to the Light

 A friend of mine gave me the whole collection of Bruce Cockburn’s music (a large collection indeed!) and I have been enjoying becoming reacquainted with songs that I once knew and discovering some real gems. There’s one that I have been listening a lot to lately called “Closer to the Light” (It’s a beautiful song – have a listen here)

Gone from mystery into mystery/ Gone from daylight into night/ Another step deeper into darkness/ Closer to the light.

As some of you may know, I have been trying to understand my faith as I wrestle with depression and the impact of the things that have happened to me and the unrelenting longing that I have for my family to be reconciled. These few words have really spoken to me and challenged me. I feel like for the past couple of months I have moved from daylight into night, again, and some days feel the night more than others. I have gone from a period of mysterious joy to a time that is just as mysterious, but in a different way.

I’ve had people suggest that what I need to do is some focused work on my past. That scares me, as it is a step deeper into darkness. I do not know the mystery beyond the night I already feel. I have already done so much work, but to go the extra step, a step deeper, has felt overwhelming in just the thought of it.

But perhaps Cockburn is right. Perhaps a step deeper into the darkness will bring me closer to the Light. I got thinking today about Christ in Gethsemane, praying that God would take this cup from him. But he had to go through the darkness of suffering, the Cross, and death before he was resurrected. That night He took a step deeper into darkness, but moved closer to the Light. I look back in my life at all the times I have waded the darkness and each time I move beyond the darkness, I come out changed, with a new sense of healing and a passion for what God is doing in my life and what he is preparing me for.

Could I reach the light without the darkness?

I’m not sure what the right answer is. But it seems as if my life is a cycle of going through dark nights and arising from them with a greater sense of God’s presence, love and grace. Maybe, this thorn in my side, is there so that I might also say that God’s grace is sufficient for me and His power is made perfect in my weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9). Maybe I will be like Paul and “boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me” (2 Cor. 12:10). Maybe I will come to the place in my faith where I can say that for Christ’s sake, “I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Lord, I’ve gone from daylight into night. Help me to take another step deeper into the darkness so that I might step closer to the light. Amen.




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