As a born and raised Southern California girl, I’ve been discovering and learning about the unusual and wildly unpredictable weather here in South Florida. One thing, I’m really not too big on are the thunderstorms. Storms in Florida do not compare to the storms back home. In fact, it HARDLY storms in Southern California. Storms out here as far as I’m concerned are NO JOKE. They’re big, intense, and yes, I’ll admit scary.
Since moving to Florida eight months ago, I’ve been learning to deal with life’s intense storms. I can say that these storms are NOTHING like I imagined upon coming here. What I thought would be a moment of a little to moderate rain ended up turning into a very long, difficult, and unexpected season of storms both. My spirit’s light would flicker as I experienced the intense lightning strikes, heavy rain, flooding, the deafening thunder in the form of various forms of loss and other constant hardships. While I did get some nice sun in between, the thunder clouds would quickly arrive.
For months, I thought that I held it together pretty well as others saw me as the quirky, bubbly, joyous person despite all that was going on. I knew deep inside things were off but I figured I would be okay as long as I kept praying, going to church, encouraging others, and being obedient to God even though the storms were constant and in some cases, worse than others.
Recently one night, a powerful, deliberate, bolt of lightning struck sending me completely over the edge. Spiritually, the light inside me went out for a moment finding myself in DEEP darkness. I was tired, broken, and just about had ENOUGH. It’s been awhile but I knew that I had just experienced a spiritual power outage.
In a panic to get myself out of darkness, I found myself spiritually scrambling for a box of matches to keep some type of light burning and shining in the form of eating or at times not eating, avoiding physical contact people as much as possible even if that meant sleeping during the day and staying up late so I wouldn’t have to interact with anyone around, and other various pursuits which required me to be alone along with dealing with new or worsening illness.
While all these things did somewhat satisfy, fulfill, burn bright, that light quickly went out. Darkness crept back in and I was steadily entering into a form of depression. I was sad, frustrated and even greatly disappointed in myself because I thought since I was a Christian, emotionally and even spiritually I shouldn’t feel this way at all even in worst storms.
A few days ago, the Holy Spirit did indeed speak (being the wonderful comforter that He is) during my feeble and heavily distracted attempt of prayer time. He lovingly reminded me of a supercharged and ready-to-use spiritual flashlight device called the Bible. Turning it on, a scripture immediately grabbed my attention.“Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” (John 8:12) It was a reminder that I desperately needed.
I soon started to look up more scriptures about God and His light which took me all the way back to the book of Genesis and discovered so much about God. Even in darkness, God’s light was present as He separated day from night (Genesis 1:14-18). The stars and the moon in darkness marks God’s Presence. Taking it a step further, before earth was even created (void and formless), His Spirit was there hovering over the face of the waters (Genesis 1:2) meaning that His light was always there before it was spoken into what we know as existence of “physical” materialized light (Genesis 1:3).
While reading, I realized that God’s Light was there all along. I was too busy focusing on my dark storms, I took my eyes off Him all the while having Satan convince me for a moment that there was NO hope or sunshine coming my way. Even in God’s silence, His Presence was still there. My job was to stay in His Presence even if I couldn’t feel or hear Him. Though my struggle and pain is real, God’s Light and His Presence is even MORE REAL.
As I’m currently still in my stormy season, I’m reminding and retraining myself more and more to rely HEAVILY on God’s Word and His Presence as my beacon and flashlight of hope alone during this very dark time. Keeping my eyes fixed on Him helps keep me unfettered even more by the fierce storms and gives me the resilience to endure this and the next. His light (even when it feels and looks extremely faint) gives me the assurance that I’m never in COMPLETE darkness and alone. Knowing this, I can gladly and confidently call on God in the dark saying, ” LORD, let there be light again!”