Like many people, I do not like driving in three conditions: rain, fog, or darkness. Early this morning, I faced all three as I set out before sunrise to drive home from Natchez, where I had co-officated at a funeral. Before I’d even pulled out of my friend’s driveway, I knew this would not be an easy journey. Misty rain called for windshield wipers. Then I realized I needed the defroster on. Street lamps were few, so I searched for the “bright” setting of my headlights. The back windshield then needed defrosting, and I had to roll down the windows to see out. All of this happened before even pulling onto the street! I eased through the neighborhood, punching buttons and turning knobs while trying to keep both eyes on the winding road. As I turned on to the highway, I rejoiced with the dawning of street lamps and a clear windshield. Then came the fog–and a switch to “fog lights” from “bright lights.”
The first twenty miles of this trip continued this cycle of punching buttons, changing lighting options, and constantly paying attention. I weaved through darkness, fog, and misty rain, sometimes encountering one but usually some version of all three. At one point, the fog was so heavy and the darkness so deep that I slowed down to 20 mph. I was not scared, but I knew that I needed to be alert. As I creeped up highway 61, a worship song played on my ipod, which was hooked up to the speakers:
When darkness seems to hide Your face,
I rest on your unchanging grace.
No matter how difficult the trip might have seemed, I knew that my car was equipped for the fog, rain, and darkness. The car could not break the darkness or clear the fog, but it gave me what I needed to get home safely. My responsibilities were to be awake, to stay alert, and to act when necessary.
The writer of 1 Peter concludes his epistle with a warning: “Be clearheaded. Keep alert. Your accuser, the devil, is on the prowl like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith. Do so in the knowledge that your fellow believers are enduring the same suffering throughout the world. After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, the one who called you into his eternal glory in Christ Jesus, will himself restore, empower, strengthen, and establish you. To him be power forever and always. Amen” (1 Peter 5:8-11).
This writer was realistic in his closing words: evil is present, and we can’t make it go away. But in God’s Word, we have the “equipment” necessary to press through the evil, the sufferings, the obstacles. Psalm 91 promises that God’s children dwell “in the secret place of the Most High God … [where] no evil shall come near us.” The Word of God is a powerful haven of security and safekeeping in the darkest times. Have you taken time today to “rest on God’s unchanging grace” by spending time in prayer and his Word? When you face dark hours, do you turn to your own ability for comfort, or do you draw on God for strength?
Don’t be discouraged by the darkness or any rain or fog that accompanies it. Instead, let us rest on grace, discovering that God is not hidden. Instead, he is in the car with us, guiding us, for he has vanquished eternal darkness through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let us journey on through the present darkness, knowing that the sunrise draws near.
all good things to each of you,
Read more from Darian Duckworth at her blog.