New Year’s Darkness

In the daily devotional A Year With Thomas Merton, the reading for today is entitled New Year’s Darkness. Merton writes about the darkness of January and the fact that it had not only been snowing in Kentucky, but the snow mixed with rain made it seem even more dark. But, he finishes the entry by commenting on the peace he also senses in the darkness. He concludes that he would be “foolish to leave such peace with no reason.”

Can we find peace in the midst of darkness?

That’s a question I’ve been asking myself over the past few months. In the midst of darkness when it seems God is no longer speaking or giving direction, can we actually find peace? I have to say the answer is “yes”. But only if we know our peace comes from God at all times. The mystics called it the dark night of the soul. When God is in the refining process of the saint. How we respond to such a dark night determines how long the dark night will last. Or at least that’s what I used to think. Do we respond with despair? Do we respond with anguish? Do we respond with peace? I’ve come to the conclusion that the dark night of the soul might also be a safe place. After all, since we know God will never leave us nor forsake us, we can also find great peace and comfort that even in the darkness, He is faithfully watching over us.

As we enter a new year what are you expecting? Are you expecting great things? Are you expecting mediocrity? Are you expecting darkness? As for me, I’m expecting great things. I received an email from a friend yesterday with a great word of encouragement. It wasn’t a lengthy email, but remember, quantity does not rule over quality.

My friend wrote – “Blessings for 2010 – Year of change secured as a result of the purging over the past five years.”

Those are very encouraging words.

The lighthouse picture above is covered in snow and appears very gray and dark as the light isn’t even on. That picture was taken earlier today in the midst of a storm. I’m believing the darkness is lifting and we’re heading for a brilliantly bright New Year!

A Fellow Sojourner,
Dr. Rus