Strangely enough, I have been thinking about the dark a lot lately. It’s interesting because many times the dark or darkness gets a bad reputation. I can completely understand this because often times when we are in the dark, it’s hard to see where we are going. It’s also hard to know what is present with us in the dark. And it’s easy to be scared when we can’t see or don’t know what to expect. But there is so much more to the darkness than not being able to see.
Darkness is a place of rest and growth. Seeds buried in the dirt are covered in darkness, nurtured by the soil it inhabits and the water that seeps into it. We sleep in the dark because science has proven that we get the best rest in the dark. When the lights are out and we are sleeping, our minds and bodies are being restored for the next day. Even certain types of photographs require darkness and low level lighting in order to develop properly. Darkness is useful. Darkness is, dare I say it, essential.
Lent often times is associated with darkness. After all, we know that Lent leads us through betrayal, uncertainty and eventually to the death of Jesus. In the past, Lent has led us through seasons of self-denial and strict discipline. This year, I believe that Lent is leading us down a path of rest, development and growth. I know you are thinking, “How is that possible with everything going on?” It seemed strange to me too, as I contemplated sharing this with you all. But the truth is, we have a choice. We can allow ourselves to be afraid of the unknown and be consumed by that fear, or we can trust God to use this Lenten season to do something miraculous in our lives.
My prayer is that the darkness associated with Lent will be one that helps you grow and develop. That this year’s Lenten journey will lull you into a rejuvenating rest and a peaceful restoration that can only be accomplished through trusting God to do what God does best – take us in his hands, cover us like soil, develop us like photographs and make us new.