seeing the Light in darkness

More than 100,000 women died there.

And they didn’t just die; they were tortured, gas-chambered, left to suffer their sickness on a cold, flea-ridden cot.

These weren’t just women, these were our sisters. So many had faith stronger than I’ll ever know – and yet, they experienced a darkness that I pray I will never know.

It doesn’t mean we are not going to suffer and feel pain, but we have the choice to trust – we have the choice to live.

“In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted…” 2 Timothy 3:12.

Straight forward as that. We will suffer, and could very well suffer like that.

I swim in my soft sheets, down comforter warming my skin. I complain about getting up. A new baby is on the way, crowding our space just a bit. I complain we need a bigger house.

The words that come out of my mouth, the thoughts in my head – they gross me out.

Here God has blessed me richly, and while I do my morning devotions, pray and go to church – am I content? More than that, don’t I feel completely overwhelmed with blessings and not in need of anything else?

After reading “The Hiding Place” by Corrie ten Boom, a true account of a God-fearing family that hid Jews and were then taken to concentration camps, I can’t stop thinking that could be me, and what would I do? How would I react?

How big is my faith? Is my faith big enough to withstand whipping and beatings? Is my faith big enough to walk cold, scarred and naked across lines of soldiers? Is my faith big enough to watch innocent people be pulled to the gas chambers, watch the old be struck down, watch babies die?

Jesus experienced this. Could I have His faith?

We ask ourselves all the time, what would I do in the darkness?

I know He is the Light and the Truth, but would I be embraced by that in tragedy? When evil is so present, would I be able to see Him?

The recent shootings of all those innocent children also stirred up this uncertainty. With such evil, it is so hard to smile, to know and live hope, to be optimistic about my children’s future.

We were never told this world was going to be all sunshine and rainbows.

When we read of these tragedies or experience them, it is hard not to see anything but an ugly world. A world that makes me want to lock my doors, stay inside and homeschool my children.

But like I saw exampled by ten-Boom’s sister in the story, she made a choice to have hope and to live with purpose in the worst of circumstances. It doesn’t mean we are not going to suffer and feel pain, but we have the choice to trust – we have the choice to live.

And we have the choice to instill this in our children. To raise them to be strong, giving and not overly protected from the world, but trained to be faithful warriors of hope and love. That will make a difference in the world on its own.

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