Pain. I feel it pulling at me, violently dragging me out of darkness and into awareness. I fight against it, pushing back, wanting to stay in the peaceful nothingness of the dark. But it’s not to be, as I open my eyes and immediately become ill. I have the worst headache I’ve ever experienced in my four years of life, a headache I’ll never forget.
Later, I awaken alone strapped in a bed in a darkened hospital room. Apparently, I’ve put up quite the fight, of which I have vague memories. The diagnosis is meningitis. So, here I am strapped down alone, and in darkness – again. Though the pain has subsided, my awareness has intensified my fear, and I cry out for my mom. There’s no answer because she isn’t here. I begin to cry loudly for help from anyone, but no one seems to hear, no one comes to comfort me. In my distress, I remember being told by my Aunt Nancy, how much Jesus loves me and cares for me. And, I remember Aunt Nancy sharing with me that whenever I felt afraid, confused, or sad, I could cry out to Jesus and he would help me. This my friends, is exactly what I did! Through tears I cried, “Jesus please help me! I am so afraid!” Though I didn’t visibly see Jesus in the flesh, I did indeed feel the greatest peace that I’ve ever experienced infiltrate my soul. I was comforted, I was calmed, and I was able to rest once more. The next morning, I awaked to sunshine streaming through the window and a family member sitting in my room.
Imagine that! In a moment in time, when I felt utterly alone and abandoned, Jesus came to me – a little four-year child. In my darkest hour of fear and need, he met me in my distress. Yet, isn’t this the promise of Jesus Christ? The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 1:3-4a “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction …” and, “For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10:13
I would remember how Jesus met me in that darkened hospital room during the following years, and would frequently call on his name, when like a heavy blanket used to smother a fire, a different kind of darkness and pain would settle upon me. I believe Satan meant this darkness to smother the very breath in my lungs, but he failed. He failed to smother my faith as well. Because, just as Jesus met me in that darkened hospital room, over the next five years, he would meet me in every moment of darkened distress, and in every moment of pain and fear. Though I may still bear scars from those years, it is well with my soul. Jesus said, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” John 10:10-11
God in his providential grace, met me in a moment of distress in order to provide salvation, comfort, calm, peace, and light in all the dark moments in my life. This is the foreseeing care, and guidance of God.
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.” Romans 8:28-30
Though my life story isn’t over yet, no matter what comes I know I can walk forward placing my trust in the God who sees, who cares, and who comforts. Are there places in your life that need the light of Jesus? Areas of pain that need comfort and healing? What about peace? Is it well with your soul?
The answer for all these needs can be found in one name. Jesus. Seek him today—the light that blots out the darkness.