Out of the Darkness
November 4, 2015 | by: Maureen Maniquis | 2 Comments
Posted in: Gospel Living
What do you think of when you think of God? Are you filled with a sense of wonder, a sense of holy mystery? Do you stand in awe at the beauty of his creation and long to know the One whose hands forged it into shape? Do you speak out in words of honor with the hope of a whispered response?
Maybe not. Maybe you think of God as the big man in the sky who has dealt you a losing hand from a stacked deck. Are you looking back over the list of hard-knocks that have come your way and seeing a stern tyrant with a harsh hand? Or is God just some unapproachable being that set things in motion and simply walked away?
Either way, sweet times and bitter ones descend upon us all. What we think of when we think about God will certainly influence our response. Of course when the sweet times adorn our path it’s easy to give God thanks. Blessings bring ease and ease often overflows with blessings. It’s those bitter times that really test what we truly believe about God. When that dark cloud seems to hover over your head longer than you think you can bear its presence-- do you cry out for a bit of sun or shake your fist at the darkness? If the sun doesn’t come, can you see it as a gift of grace in disguise? Can you look into the darkness and search for the light of its purpose? As His hand forged the universe out of the darkness so too does it forge our soul. Out of the mystery of the darkness rises the creation of His glory. Light begins to pierce through the blackness as the clouds drift to the distance and the sweet fragrance of change fills the air. A patina of His presence has left its mark upon us and we are forever changed a bit each time the clouds depart.
For a heart seeking truth, darkness can be enlightening. Knowing that everything has its purpose under heaven can help take the bite out of the bitter. It doesn’t exactly sweeten it but it makes it easier to keep it down till it passes. The understanding that everything that comes from the hand of God is good-- can settle the queasy soul.
Surely, when I think of God, a shroud of mystery cloaks my understanding. How can it not? How can I understand the Creator of a universe that is beyond the depths of our scopes? All the stars He calls by name we can’t even number? The enigma of the Father-God as He bangs out the dents of my soul can stagger my mind. Yet, ironically, with each pound of the hammer, I feel somehow stronger, steadier and plumb. And as I speak out in words of honor and hope I hear a tender whisper, “You are precious to me.”
“He opened the heavens and came down; dark storm clouds were beneath his feet. Mounted on a mighty angelic being, he flew, soaring on the wings of the wind. He shrouded himself in darkness, veiling his approach with dense rain clouds. A great brightness shone around him, and burning coals blazed forth. The Lord thundered from heaven; the voice of the Most High resounded… He reached down from heaven and rescued me; he drew me out of deep waters… He rescued me because he delights in me.” 2 Samuel 22:10-14,17,20 NIV
Maureen Maniquis moved to Florida 10 years ago from Bern, Switzerland where she and her husband were living for 6 years while working at the American Embassy. While there, they helped plant an English speaking church in the heart of the city that still thrives today to meet the needs of expats who desire to be a part of a community of fellow believers. Maureen has been a part of the Restoration Church Core Team since its plant in 2010 and currently serves on the Hospitality Team and Prayer Team and will be a regular contributor to our blogs. She has published a book of her memoirs and is a passionate writer on Gospel living and pointing people to the heart of Jesus. maureenmaniquis-blog.com