“Now from the sixth hour until the ninth hour there was darkness over all the land.” ~ Matthew 27:45
During those moments that Jesus cried out, “My God, why have You forsaken Me?”, there was darkness over all the land.
Now, I can’t tell you exactly what this darkness was like, whether it was an eclipse of the sun that lasted three hours, or if it was a supernatural darkness like what occurred in Egypt during plague #9. I don’t know if it was like twilight or if it was like midnight. But I can tell you about my own darkness.
There have been moments of depression so heavy where I felt like the whole world was dark to me. There have been times where I wasn’t sure that I’d see the other side. There have been times where I could relate on a gut level with Psalm 88:18:
You have taken from me friend and neighbor—
darkness is my closest friend.
I’m not talking about how I was before I came to Christ, although it’s a miracle that I lived through that level of depression. Even after knowing the Lord, I have struggled with deep depression.
There have been times where I sank so low, I was afraid I wouldn’t climb back out again.
I would read the Psalms and cry, and beg to have some kind of lifeline.
During one of those moments, I found such a lifeline:
He made darkness his covering, his canopy around him—
the dark rain clouds of the sky. ~ Psalm 18:11
I knew in that moment that if I just continued to put one foot in front of the other in the midst of the darkness, I would find Him in the very middle. And I did.
Do you remember The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, when they had sailed into the darkness? That part of the book was one of my favorite from the whole series. There were times I felt like that man, stranded on an island surrounded by darkness. But it was in the middle of the darkness that an albatross, like a beacon, shaped like a cross, appeared. And it was only when they sailed all the way through the darkness that its power was broken.
God wants to meet your there, in the middle of your darkness, and shine His light.
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:5