This is for both my beautiful friend Linda Bishop and myself as we Rise Up in 2017 together! Love you so much my friend!
So dark. So completely black. Sitting on the floor I pulled my knees up to my chest and rocked back and forth. Tears wet my cheeks and it seemed as though deep darkness slid over me like a black cloak. My heart ached within me, anguish so deep I feared I would drown in this sea of murky, dark misery. The “what ifs” and “should haves” of my past clamored through my head all shouting for attention and another thick sob rose in my throat. Somewhere in the foggy background I could hear the snicker of the enemy planting malignant thoughts in my mind; “Where is your God?! You’ll never amount to anything! You’re pathetic, a loser! You’ve been deserted. You’re all alone in the quicksand of your sorrow and you’ll never get up!” The gloating of the enemy grew in intensity drowning out any other sound.
I opened my swollen eyes and squinted in the blackness. There at the very edge of my vision was a tiny, pin prick of light. Hope! A tiny fragment of hope! As I watched it seemed to be growing brighter. “Impossible,” I thought and rubbed my smarting eyes with my fists. “NO,” yelled the enemy, “there is NO hope!” “But I think there is,” I replied with a smile.
As I made that tiny declaration of faith, smaller than any tiny mustard seed, hope flooded in like a freight train! Light illuminated every crack, every hole and every crevice of the room, soaking through my skin and trickling into my heart. Warmth thawed out all the ice that had frozen like crystals in my soul. New tears began to rush down my cheeks. Good tears. Tears of rejoicing. Tears of relief and the knowledge that my day of restoration was upon me. I felt the Spirit of the Lord filling the space all about me, the thickness of His weighty presence upon me.
Then I heard His voice. I heard His voice! “I am a shield about you protecting you from the terror of night and the arrow that flies by day. I am your rock and your deliverer, trust me! I will hear you when you call to me and be your salvation and refuge. My word will be a lamp unto your feet, it will light up the path that you should walk on and show you where to go next. I shall lift up your head above your enemies and cause your heart to sing. I will be your everlasting light and bestow on you favor and honor, for you are set apart for me! Now is the time for you to rise up and shine, for your light has come. The shining greatness of the Lord has risen upon you. For see, darkness will cover the earth but I will rise upon you and my shining greatness will be seen upon you. Nations will come to your light. And Kings will see the shining greatness of the Lord on you! Lift up your eyes and look around you and see. They all gather together, they come to you. Your sons will come from far away and your daughters will be carried in the arms. Then you will see and shine with joy! Rise Up, this matter is in your hands. So take courage and do it!”
My eyes snapped open and with new resolve I began to lift my head. It was easy! The power of the living God was shooting through my veins, running through my spirit! I stood to my feet and threw my arms wide open taking in deep breaths of sparkling light. I felt giddy, light headed even and began to spin in a circle like a child. Laughter rose up within me, joy began to flow from my head to my toes. With an exuberant shout I yelled; “DO NOT gloat over me anymore my enemy, when I fall I SHALL rise, when I sit in darkness, the LORD will be a light to me!”
Psalm 3:3 – But you, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory and the One who lifts up my head. Micah 7:8 – Do not gloat over me, O my enemy; when I fall, I shall rise; when I sit in darkness, the Lord will be a light to me. Other scriptures used – Ps 84:11, Ps 18:2, Ps 4:3, Ezra 10:4, Ps 91:5