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Lessons in the Dark

Ann Spangler
Ann Spangler
2012 22 Mar

I wish I were a quick study, not when it comes to learning subjects like math or physics, but in becoming more Christ-like. But spiritual growth is difficult, and it’s often counterintuitive. Jesus tells me to stop worrying, yet my sleepless nights persist. He tells me to turn the other cheek when my instinct is to raise the other fist. He talks of dying and carrying a cross when all I want to do is enjoy every minute of the life I have. Maybe I suffer from a mental block when it comes to spiritual things. I can’t get it through my head that there’s no such thing as an easy path for becoming the person Christ calls me to be.

                Carol Kuykendall knows what it’s like to follow a path she never would have chosen. Her husband, Lynn, had nearly been pronounced cured when the results of a recent MRI showed that his brain tumor was back. This time, Carol says, their fears are bigger because the cancer now has more devastating effects and the statistics for surviving it are worse. “Yet,” she says, “as I look back at our earlier journey down this same unpredictable path, I remember how we discovered surprising doses of God’s hope all along the way.

                “There’s a saying,” she says, “that you should ‘remember in the dark what you learned in the light.’ But now I’m remembering in the dark what I learned in the dark: that God gives us enough light to direct our paths, one step at a time, and what we need when we need it most.”[1] Carol is able to share these hope-filled words even though she and her husband are facing a difficult journey. and her husband are facing a difficult journey.

                Perhaps you know someone who is suffering in ways you can hardly imagine. Take a moment to pray for that person now and determine to keep him or her in your prayers. As you do, ask God for the faith to realize that, no matter how unpredictable or difficult your own path may sometimes feel, he is using the darkness to teach you how to become more like the Christ you love.

[1] Carol Kuykendall in Daily Guideposts (New York: Guideposts, 2011), 26.

(Image courtesy of net_efekt at flickr.com