I noticed something profound on Easter. It seemed that all of the faithful people around me experienced graces and joy despite coronavirus putting us in isolation and not allowing us to go to mass and receive the Eucharist.
God still gave His faithful joy. He still filled us with His love.
I think that’s indicative of who God is and how He fulfills His promises. He promises us joy if we are faithful. He promises that He will turn mourning to dancing and give beauty for ashes.
Darkness didn’t win. Darkness won’t ever win if you remain faithful and choose the path of life.
It’s taken me a long time to realize that. There have been periods of my life where I did feel like darkness would win and that I wouldn’t see the light. When the losses of life felt so great that I couldn’t climb out of the pit.
I still have my days of loneliness, darkness and doubt. But after so many times of seeing God’s faithfulness through those, after reading daily of God’s promises for several years, hearing those promises through the wisdom and encouragement of others, and experiencing first-hand “resurrection” moments in my own life, I have a greater belief that His promises are true. I now see that darkness never won at any time in my life except when I chose it versus the path of life. That each loss paved the way to greater abundance spiritually.
Somehow, I’ve emerged from those times of darkness less of a “hearer” of those words and now a “speaker” of those words from a convicted sense of belief that they are true.
As we delve deeper into Acts of the Apostles, I think that is precisely the path of the post-Resurrection disciple. We experience darkness and suffering, we encounter resurrection, we have moments of doubt, we see God’s promises are true, and we go on to proclaim them to others from the deep conviction that they are in fact living truths in our lives. We become like Peter and Paul: transformed and equipped to share the Good News.
Darkness has a way of bringing forth light in unexpected ways, strengthening our faith in God’s promises, illuminating truths in His Word, and more deeply forming us as disciples.
And that is beauty for ashes.