Today’s post is shared by a sister in Gainesville, FL. Joelle Laing is currently working towards her PhD in ecology at the University of Florida, and though not currently blogging, you can read some of her past stuff (it’s really awesome!) at The Rocks Will Cry Out.
There was a day when the whole world was buried.
Almost like under a pile of heavy, dark refuse. We all sat crowded under there for years. Centuries, even.
Under that heavy weight, reality was a bleak one. With our weak eyes, we could see nothing of any value due to the thick darkness that hedged us in on every side. We had moments of happiness but really it was every man for himself in that limited world. The resources we had were only what was available under that thick, dark mound…and there was only so much to go around.
We felt a lot of pain in those days. Pain which could only be curbed with the scant provisions we could muster together from that place. Often we had to take from someone else to make the pain subside. So the cycle petered on….we hurt other people and other people hurt us. And the black weight got heavier: condemnation, fear, pain, depression, selfishness. Sin. And the worst part was that we would all eventually face death.
We were trapped.
But life under that tremendous dark pile was the only reality we knew. The idea of rescue had never occurred to us…and even if it had, there was certainly no one under that thick black mound of refuse who could do the job.
Little did we know that we were betrothed to a beautiful Someone from an entirely different place.
His name was Deepest Love.
Deepest Love was completely removed from that dense dark mound…Galaxies away. He sat utterly shrouded in glory in the High Places. The life He had there was satisfying in every way…There was nothing He needed and Joy and Peace were His everyday reality.
Yet somehow His heart was set upon us who were buried under that black mound, whether we noticed it or not. His determined love for us blazed like fire and He resolved that He would pursue us until we were free. …..Even though the only way to rescue us was to abandon His glorious high place and meet us completely underneath that heavy pile. Once there, His love would be the only weapon strong enough to release us from its hold.
Deepest Love made the choice: He would do it.
And so like a waterfall from heaven, Deepest Love descended and penetrated that dark place. The parched ground in our hopeless dark world suddenly felt a few drops of water: There He was…a total foreigner to that dark place…He was Light itself.
Wherever Deepest Love walked, the darkness departed. And so each and every day…He walked.
Where the darkness had brought blindness, He opened eyes. Where it had brought despair He brought hope. Where it had brought sickness He brought healing. But most of all He brought Love. A love never before seen in that black place. It was a love that was refreshing, healing, intimate, beautiful, uplifting. And earthshakingly powerful.
His resolve was firm. He would extinguish every corner of darkness no matter what it cost Him and no matter how far He had to travel. And so He made it His business to light up that limited world a little more every day that He awoke.
Yet in spite of all His walking in that world, there was a place which still remained filled with blackness. Its horrific finality had sealed our fate so that there was no escape. That place, known as DEATH, was located far below that dark mound and demanded the life of everyone who lived there.
It was one thing for Deepest Love to walk with us under that mound and understand our pain. To travel to that horrifying place which had become our fate was quite another. But Deepest Love would not be satisfied unless our freedom was absolutely complete.
And so the day came when not just some, but ALL darkness was extinguished by Deepest Love Himself. As His tears flowed in a garden, the weight of that ENTIRE BLACK MOUND was placed on Him. Not a scrap of it remained elsewhere.
All at once, Deepest Love singlehandedly carried that immense blackness filled with every kind of pain down to the lowest place of all. And in that place, from which none had ever returned, He stared our final, fiercest, and supreme Enemy in the face. But instead of shrinking back, love propelled Him forward.
None can begin to imagine the epic 3-day battle which took place between Death and Life itself. But at the end of the fight, Deepest Love managed to do something quite unexpected. With the power of His unrelenting love, He LIT THE ENTIRE PLACE UP. Death and darkness itself were completely stripped of their power as light flooded even the grave we had all been destined to fill.
When His glorious work was done, Deepest Love high-tailed it out of that place. But very intentionally on His part, He left that immense dark mound behind….buried for eternity. And just before He walked out of the door of that now-defeated grave, He made sure to grab the keys.
As Deepest Love emerged from the depths of the grave, He ascended far above the now-defeated dark mound. And all of those who were His own rose up with Him, now completely free of its hold. A brand new race of people was born (a 3rd race!) who, although fully human, had passed from death to life and were utterly filled with Deepest Love Himself, who now lived within them. He had actually had them in mind from the very beginning as His own beloved ones….they were the ones who would believe in Deepest Love and choose to draw their life from Him (as in, you and me!)
Our transformation, of course, is when the real excitement began.
One day that dark mound will disappear from view forever when Deepest Love fully reveals His finished work. In the meantime….For those of us who have chosen to live in Him, that tremendous black pile is now completely beneath our feet so that WE can do the work of Deepest love. Just like Deepest Love Himself, we live from the High Places even while we walk through the dark mound and live among its people. So even when we feel the pain of its effects, the darkness is used only to produce more love and life within us when we turn all of it over to Him. Of course, being true to His name…He turns the darkness into light and love within us. This goes for ANYTHING that was in that mound. Fear has been lit up with love, guilt with freedom and forgiveness, sadness with joy, pain with healing, confusion with peace.
And so each and every day, Deepest Love is now revealing His finished work to those still living under the despair of darkness. And He is doing it through US.
Rather than one person living on earth, Deepest Love now has an entire family of people who are all utterly filled with Deepest Love Himself. This means that wherever any of us walk, He walks! And moment by moment as He shows us where to go, we can now extinguish darkness by the power of Deepest Love Himself. Because He has power to light up ALL darkness with Love, we have full confidence that when He leads us to bring light and love somewhere, He has already lit up the darkness ahead of us. All we need to do is believe and rest in His finished work.
And then pick up our feet and walk…
Brothers and sisters, we are utterly loved! Our determined Lord lives within us…and both His determination and His love remain unchanged as we walk this earth. Let us not neglect to continue His beautiful work.
“You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you. This I command you, that you love one another.” –Jesus