"When darkness seems to hide His face,
I rest on His unchanging grace..."
As the sanctuary echoed with these words yesterday, I felt my heart begin to swell.
There have been times in my life, too many times lately, when I have struggled to see Christ's face. Too many times when the self-induced darkness is so overwhelming all I can do is trust in the knowledge that He is still there. In my head I know that Christ will neither leave me nor forsake me. This is a promise from God and I KNOW that it is true.
Still, there are times when my choices, my thoughts, my actions or words have drawn me so far away from Christ that I struggle to see Him. I struggle to feel Him or His prompting in my life. Not because He has pulled away from me, not because He has left me or abandoned me, but because I have chosen something other than Him in that moment. And so He has quietly stepped aside. And I am left in the darkness. I know He is there still, full of grace, waiting for me to open my eyes to Him and step back into the light.
The words that we sang on Sunday came from the song "Cornerstone" by Hillsong. But the verses to this song come from the old hymn "On Christ, the Solid Rock I Stand". In the original hymn the chorus goes like this...
"On Christ the solid rock I stand
all other ground is sinking sand
all other ground in sinking sand"
I must say, that in my 30+ years of life I found this to be true. Those times I am standing in the darkness, those times I cannot see His face, those are the times I start to sink. I want you to know today, that if you are standing on ANYTHING except the solid rock of Christ, you are standing on sinking ground.
Security, peace, comfort will never come from your bank account. Acceptance, unconditional love, belonging will never come from the people you are working so hard to please. Your identity is not found in what you look like, who you spend your time with or what talent you have. Christ is the solid rock, all other ground is sinking sand. When you put your faith, your time and attention, your desires into money, popularity, sports or activities, your kids, your spouse, or your job, when these things become EVERYTHING to you, you will find yourself in darkness, you will be unable to to see his face and you will start to sink.
It is in this moment that you need to call on the name of Jesus. He is the solid rock and He is there. Full of mercy and grace. Ready to forgive. Ready to take you in His arms and carry you through.
If you are surrounded in darkness right now, rest in the unchanging grace of Christ. Call on his name, and step onto solid rock.