David M. Montgomery accepted his seminary diploma hearing the thunderous applause from Dave’s family, friends, youth leaders, mentors, and fiancé. The energetic celebration continued when David married his longtime sweetheart, Danica Peterson. Six years to the day of having first met, they married; their desire for children was immediate.
But their hopes were shattered when the doctor gave them the final report, stating they were unable ever to have children of their own. For the first time, Dave and Dany faced a life-changing, soul-invading sorrow. With consistent commitment, they pressed on with the assistance of an exceptional Christian therapist.
Summer was a shared high point they looked forward to, especially that year. With electric energy, the season kicked off with the annual trip to camp. Dany chose to stay home, and Dave called each day to share how camp was going. Camp that year was the best ever. Dany arrived at the church early, anticipating their return . . . which never happened. Dany’s phone rang; the voice on the other end informed her the bus her husband was in had been in a horrible accident. Several youth were taken by ambulance to the local hospital, but Dave had to be taken to the hospital by a care-flight team. Dany arrived at the hospital and was told of Dave’s condition: broken bones, bruising, and serious brain trauma. Dave’s optic nerves had been severed in the accident; he would never see again.
Though the story is fictional, it represents a crisis no one is ready to handle. Those who experience a crisis of this magnitude quickly learn that what was once normal will never again be normal. Endless questions and complicated emotions abound that no individual is capable of working through independently. For a committed Christian, the deepest struggle is in the soul. Complicated, new thoughts and feelings surface when the soul is captured in an indescribable silence.
Ever been there or had loved ones there? Are you there now? I have been there several times; you are not alone. You can find freedom in this life but only if, by God’s grace, you are willing to face reality and seek the divine will of God. Let’s face reality first.
- The crisis itself appears to be the root of your pain. In reality, the crisis actually is the catalyst that reveals what we have held deep inside our souls.
- The crisis appears to be an enemy to get away from. In reality, the crisis can actually be the terribly difficult pathway you must walk to free your soul. When the soul is ripped open in times of crisis, we encounter things which have kept the soul bound up, things like false beliefs, hidden motivations, wishes for significant success fastened to spiritually good pursuits, selfishness, and negative attitudes—unlimited entrapments caused by our sinful nature.
- The crisis appears to be what’s ruining our lives. In reality, the crisis can actually be the avenue that brings us to the new life Christ promises for those who believe in Him.
Those are very difficult realities to accept until we learn what the truth of God’s Word says about getting through times when the light of hope dies. The apostle Paul prays in Ephesians 1:18: “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints” (NIV). Paraphrased in “The Message,” the verse says, “I ask—ask the God of our Master, Jesus Christ, the God of glory—to make you intelligent and discerning in knowing him personally, your eyes focused and clear, so that you can see exactly what it is he is calling you to do.”
“The eyes of your heart” is an expression meaning the very core, the nucleus, the essence of your motivations and beliefs. By God’s grace, the courageous will find light for the soul—that inner core—shining amidst the darkness. In times of crisis, our limited mind-sets—which include our hopes, our dreams, our directions—are replaced by God’s abundant, extravagant, pure direction for life. Believing this truth allows us to embrace the realities of pain, endure grief and darkness, and know that God is the light at the end of that tunnel.
May the Lord provide brilliant light when darkness seems to prevail.