by Nan Jones @NanJonesAuthor
I couldn’t sleep. My mind leaped from thought to restless thought, tumbling into the shadowed abyss between. With a heavy sigh I finally surrendered and got up. I fumbled through the darkness until bumping into the couch in our den. Sitting down, I curled up on the end near a window.
Father, I prayed, I’m so overwhelmed. I’m consumed with sorrow and ridden with anxiety. There is no peace within me. Be my peace, Lord. Please be my peace.
I adjusted the throw pillow so I could hold it in a snuggle and feel it’s soft caress against my cheek. Darkness shrouded me in its heavy cloak. Tears trickled. Shoulders heaved. And my spirit struggled to press into the One who loves me.
“Jesus…Jesus,” I spoke in a soft whisper.
My eyes scanned the ebony sky. It was nearly dawn, but the black of storm clouds fought the rising sun. Towards the east, a faint silvery glimmer appeared. The dawning of a new day struggled to break through the persistent storm clouds, ominous in size, harmful in their threat.
I watched the battle in the heavenlies.
Hoping against hope that the light of a new day would win over the billowing clouds of night.
The old mantle clock ticked away the minutes, filling the quiet with rhythms of life. I watched as the sky’s silvery nugget began to expand. Edges of golden light fringed its soft perimeter, silhouetting and revealing the magnitude of the clouds. The light continued to grow, overcoming the darkness with its brilliance. I watched as the storm clouds bowed to the presence of the light.
As the morning sky sang praise to its Creator, the darkness of the storm faded – the colossal clouds began to reflect the morning light as they transformed before my eyes. Ribbons of apricot streaked across the expanse of heaven, delighting and calming my worn spirit.
The Lord spoke quietly into my heart, Nan, I am the Light in your darkness. Just as the light of dawn overcame the darkness of night, so my Presence in your life overcomes your despair. I am your peace, your hope, your joy. With your mind stayed on Me, I will keep you in perfect peace.
“Yes, Lord.” I whispered back, the colors of dawn reflecting in my eyes. “With my eyes focused on You and You alone, I will find peace. Your glory will light my path, permeating my darkness and lacing it with the brilliance of dawn.“
The fiery globe of the morning sun rose above the mountain ridge and gave a nod towards my sleepy face. The darkness fled, for my Light had come.
and prostration in which circumstances have kept you—rise to a new
AFTER THE FIRE,
A GENTLE WHISPER
ONLY GOD KNEW where my husband was. I had run from the business meeting before its completion. Tempers flared. Tongues were unleashed, and nearly three years of fruitful ministry were all but destroyed. My heart beat madly within my chest, fighting desperately not to break from the pain of rejection. Angry tears stung my cheeks as I bolted from the sanctuary. I didn’t know if I could continue in this thing called ministry. God was asking too much of me.
My husband, David, and I had been ministering in the small rural church for three years. Under his leadership and the Holy Spirit’s guidance, the church had experienced exponential growth. God’s mercy and grace flowed into the lives of our people. Church had become a place of joy, restoration, and refuge.
Then evil reared its ugly head.