Saturday, August 6, 2011

"The Darkest Valley"

    Gather the finest writers, possessed of the greatest literary and imaginative skills.  Have them together contemplate and pen the saddest, most tragic and fearful story of pain, loss, heartache and heartbreak.  Let them take their readers' hearts down a path so dark that is seems to envelope and enshroud with forlorn bewilderment and despair.
    Then, open the Bible.  Discover therein that Someone has already descended not into a dark valley of imagination, but of reality wherein agonies of heart, mind and body were experienced infinitely beyond any literary imagination.  See Him cry out in an utterly abandoned forsakenness that shattered His heart with spiritual and emotional death long before His physical body expired.  Witness His marred frame laid in a tomb of seeming finality and hopelessness.  Weep for the sadness of this, the blackness of all darkness, and perhaps above all, for the completely undeserved heartbreak known by the only truly innocent human soul that ever lived.
    Continue, however, in the pages of holy Scripture.  Hear the voice of angels - "He is not here, for He is risen, as He said" (Matthew 28:6).  Run for joy with disciples who could scarcely believe that their loved One lost might return to once again fill their hearts.  Read that He did indeed do so, but in a far greater measure than His mere physical presence for three years ever provided.  Consider that your own trusting heart knows now what John, Peter, Mary and others knew then, that the crucified, forsaken One is now the resurrected, glorified Christ who literally dwells within the spirits of those who believe. 
    Finally, realize that such truth tells us a most blessed thing, perhaps the most blessed thing in this present vale of tears through which we must so often walk.  Namely, no loss, no pain, no sorrow, no tragedy, no heartache and no heartbreak can long abide in those who will believe that our Lord Jesus has, for our sakes, ventured into the gaping maw of the most fearsome darkness any conscious being will ever know.  He was completely swallowed and consumed therein, and somehow the Prince of life experienced that which was totally foreign to His nature.  He died.  But He rose again in a greater glory than ever He had before known, the glorified man who is God, and God who is man. 
     In such glorious light, we open our eyes to see that no worst case scenario we could ever imagine or experience can keep us from peace and joy so long as we trust and submit to the crucified, risen Lord Jesus.  He said as much before He died.  And then He went forth into the darkest valley to make possible our experience thereof. 
"These things I have spoken unto you, that in Me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world."
(John 16:33)

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