Posted by: kathryngraves | May 18, 2012

Darkest Before Dawn


We left home an hour before the sun came up. As our kids used to say, it was “black dark.” I couldn’t detect any clouds, but no stars shone and the moon was long gone. If I didn’t know day would break, I might have thought it wouldn’t. It didn’t seem possible.

I might have missed it if I hadn’t been talking to my husband, Bo. I turned to look at him as he drove, sitting to my east in the car, and noticed an almost undetectable lightening of the sky, just at the horizon. Then, gradually, but in retrospect it seemed almost sudden, the whole sky became bright enough to make out the landscape. Soon after that, the hot orange sun blazed at the edge of the land.

I remember thinking it was true: it really is the darkest just before dawn. Then I remembered how that is also true with suffering. When I couldn’t be any more sick and when I began to believe I might always feel that way, I finished the first type of chemo. When I didn’t think I’d live through any more nerve pain, that type of chemo ended. The fifth day after surgery was awful and I was so depressed, thinking I might never get over it. But the next day I turned the corner. Then the nerve, tendon and ligament damage went on over six months and I still wonder what I’ll be left with. Is it permanent?

My friend whose husband and son died within six weeks of each other must feel like she’s in a permanent state of grief, loss, and loneliness. Maybe you, too, are suffering and you just don’t know how much longer you can go on this way. Let me share my promise verses with you.

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you, says the Lord, and I will bring you back from your captivity; I will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you, says the Lord, and I will bring you to the place from which I cause you to be carried away captive.”  Jeremiah 29:11-14

We always hear verse 11, and that’s good, but verses 12 – 14 expand on verse 11. This was written about Israel and she was taken captive because of sin. My suffering was not a result of sin, and maybe yours wasn’t either, but God caused us to be “carried away captive” for a plan, nevertheless. And we can trust Him to bring us back.


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