If you give me the option to avoid a painful situation I will take you up on your offer in a heartbeat. I hate pain. It doesn’t feel good. I even avoid watching certain movies because they can make me cry. I will do anything to not cry. I’ve actually gotten really good at avoiding tears. Tears and pain seem to go together. For a long time, I thought I needed to avoid them.
But what if I shouldn’t be avoiding my pain?
What if my pain was the place where I become stronger?
What if the darkest moments is where the light shines the brightest?
I was listening to a podcast recently. On this podcast, he was talking about stars. He said, “Stars need the darkness to shine.”
I remember when I was in elementary school. Once a year our class would go into an inflatable dome. We would sit on the edge and learn about the stars and different constellations.
I hated school most days, but those days were my favorite. I got out of normal classes to learn about the stars. I love living so close to Chicago, but one thing I miss is seeing the stars at night. The lights are always on and it makes the stars invisible.
When my wife and I were first married we lived in a house in the country. There were only a few houses around us. It’s different than Chicago because the stars were visible every night. Like when I was at school in the inflatable dome, I could see the constellations in the sky.
My wife and I both love to watch the stars as they light up the darkness of the night sky. Within Christian circles there a lot of talk about shining like a star, or being the light of the world. Growing up in the church people told me that I should surround myself with other Christians who shine bright like stars.
It’s easy to stay where the light is. It’s much more difficult to venture into areas where there is more darkness than light. Where there is more darkness, there’s more opportunity for stars to shine. For a long time, I thought darkness was bad. I don’t tend to look at darkness, pain, or tears in a negative way anymore.
Darkness and pain is an opportunity for stars to shine more brightly.
As someone who attempts, and fails, to follow Jesus I want to be a light. This isn’t about gathering around everyone who is the same so that I can feel safe and never be in darkness. To reflect the light of Jesus most effectively I need to go to the dark places, the painful places. I need to venture into areas where no one else wants to go.
Darkness and pain are where stars shine the brightest.
If I want to make Jesus most known I have to go where He is least known. I have to go where other Jesus followers don’t want to go, say the things that are difficult to say. These are the places where the light of Jesus will shine the brightest.
When I go to the darkest of places I will find Jesus waiting there.