Lenten Devotional 4/17/19

April 17, 2019                 John 12: 27-36                           Lisa Thompson


As I read this passage, the parts that stood out to me were “walk with the light”, “darkness overtakes you and you don’t know where you’re going”. This reminded me of camping trips in the middle of the night, in the middle of the woods, and needing to go from a tent in the woods to another location. (If you’ve ever camped, especially if you’re a woman, you know that feeling of needing to find the outhouse in the middle of the night.) I would always forget to grab a flashlight. After a few steps, I would realize that this was a mistake, but then think “I’m fine. I’m a grown-up. I can do this by myself.” Why can’t I just admit that I can’t see without some help from a flashlight?”

There have been a number of times in my life when I felt discouraged, in the dark, when I couldn’t decide what I needed to do to make things right. Every time I have found myself in a situation like this, I fixate on the problem and stew over how I should respond. I play out all the scenarios in my mind and think through all the reasons why this or that won’t work. I wallow in feelings of “poor me” for much longer than I care to admit. The only thing that ever makes me feel better when I finally get to this point is “giving it to God”–realizing that I don’t have to have the solution. In fact, the solutions that I am capable of imagining are extremely limited. I am not the director of this movie. I didn’t create this jigsaw puzzle. It may not even be in my power to figure it out. It’s like admitting that I need a flashlight in the woods. I need to listen for God’s voice and look for God’s light in the midst of darkness. I can relate to the people in the verse who heard God’s voice and thought it was just thunder, or the people who had Jesus with them, but argued about whether he really was the Messiah because of their predefined ideas about what a Messiah should do.  In his blog, The Listening Hermit, Peter Woods reflects…”But when I close my eyes and still my mind from all its reasoning and overthinking, I notice that I can see dimly in the dark. Just enough light to take another step closer to his divine heart. He who hides from all my argumentation, is the very one who shines a torch in the dark labyrinth of my prayer.”

Lord, help me discern your light and your message in my life.