Let Me Disappear


There is a narrow path I have chosen and it stretches out before me now.  I expected light, joy, and company on this path, but only see darkness where it leads.  Yet I have chosen to follow the One who hung upon a Cross for me, to walk in His Footsteps.  Is it so strange that I should journey alone, that all would be darkened and veiled and terrifying and overwhelming but to eyes of faith?

No.  And I am being led.  I am not walking this path into the darkness by chance, or on a whim, but by a Sovereign and beautiful plan.  So should I assume that this darkness will be my fate?

No!  Would it not be absurdity for a candle brought into a dark room to assume that darkness was the will of the one who brought him there?  Shall I anymore believe that darkness—not glorious light for a great consuming purpose—is God’s Will for me?  Shall I make peace through compromise and treaties of incomplete victory?  

Oh, how can I?  I cannot—lest I deny what I am, why I was born, breathed on, and touched with the nail-scarred Hands of mercy!

Oh, why do I seem to assume that God will place me in a room already lit?  Why do I seem to assume that destruction and not redemption will be the finality when I must shine against the black, black veil of evil?  

It’s as if I foolishly, vainly, blindly think He would do better to use me for decoration at the table during special occasions.  It’s as if I think candles for the purpose of light in the dark are outdated.  It’s as if I expect to be surrounded by friendly faces and a feast while I shine.  I do expect that.

In America, many think candles are only used these days for the purpose of a light in the dark during power-outages and other crises.  Christians are now accustomed to sitting on a shelf like a book or hiding in a kitchen drawer with other unused tools or being stowed away in a bag for rare trips into the darkness while the church shines its electrical light of religion. 

We think of darkness as being “out there,” outside the glow of our safety bubble.  That’s where it’s supposed to stay.  And this is where we are supposed to stay.  No one feels convicted or confronted or singled out for the cause as if they personally have to dispel any darkness.  We complain and complain about the darkness never thinking that perhaps it is dark only because no one is venturing out into it to shine.

Many are happy this way.  This may be you, and you may not even know it.  Sadly, it was me.

But let me ask you: What happens when the storm comes, when disaster strikes, when even for no reason at all, the light of religion fails—to reach far enough, to shine bright enough, is perfectly extinguished?  What happens when He calls you down His Path of radical abandonment of all others and sacrifice of all that you know and love?  What happens when the darkness comes?  Will you make peace with the darkness?  Will you shine or fall amidst the bleak, bleak sky?  Oh, you were meant to shine!

The light of religion is dark to me.  Worse, it blinds me to the darkness it conceals—and blinds others to the fact that they themselves possess no light at all. 

I thought, at first, at church, that God was placing me in a room already lit.  It’s as if I thought He would use me for decoration at the table during special occasions.  I thought that’s what my good works were for—beauty to be appreciated.  It’s as if I thought candles for the purpose of light in the dark were outdated.  I didn’t expect to have to battle the darkness.  I expected to be surrounded by friendly faces and a feast while I shone.  I didn’t expect to feel so alone.  But religion is darkness—darkness!

And yet this is what I have chosen.  And I am not here by chance.  So I will not make peace with the darkness.  I will not become as a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.  I will not simply gain power and understanding.  I will not just move mountains or give away all I have or deliver up my body to be burned.  That “light” of religion is darkness, it is nothing, and if it is all I have, I am truly nothing (1 Corinthians 13:1-3).

No, I trust that God will shine true Light, His Light, through me.  I pray You will, God.  And I trust You.  I trust You, that by Your grace, You will redeem me from the nothing I too often esteem, too often seek to define myself by instead of Your sacrifice at the Cross, and that I will love (1 Corinthians 13:4-7). 

Please shine—love—through me.  Let the people see You and You alone.  Let me disappear in Your flame.  I want You to be all, all to me.  For You are all that is good (Psalm 16:2).  

Consume me until all that is left is love for You, love from You—just love.

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