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The blackness of midnight

 
Jimmy Cochran Columnist

  I’ve had far too many long, lonely nights lately. You know, those nights when in the blackness of the midnight your mind is spinning trying to sort out all you need to deal with and your heart is full with concerns and worries and the uncertainty of tomorrow. And….here is the totally transparent part….God seems so very far away no matter how much you cry out for hope, for relief, for Him. The things I face loom larger as the night turns to early morning and still, sleep won’t come and my mind and heart keep churning. And, once again, I cry, “God? Aren’t You there? Can’t You help me? I’m so tired. Don’t you see what is going on? Friends of mine are sick and some are dying. No one seems to care about each other anymore. Ego and pride is destroying not only our country, but our churches. God? Do You even care?”

  Personally, the last couple of months have been rough. I have had job changes, financial changes, health changes, and lifestyle changes. Stress. Anxiety. You name it. All in a short period of time and while I’m still reeling from all these changes, more are on the horizon. In many of these situations, I am trying to reclaim my life from those I have allowed to steal my joy and to make my own decisions about my journey once again. And, it comes at a cost.

  Any honest Christian should admit that we go through times of struggle when our faith just doesn’t seem to be enough to get us through the day. And the more we try to force our faith to sustain us, the farther away it seems to be. And those same honest Christians should admit that even though we don’t “feel” our faith so much doesn’t mean it isn’t there. One of the cutesy churchy-terms you sometimes hear is that “we live by faith and not feelings.” And that is true. It has been true in my life over and over and over. So, we hang on by faith until the dawn comes.

  Do you dislike your job? Dislike the people you work with? Do you wish you had more money? Do you feel taken advantage of and overlooked? Do your friends seem to be more interested in their lives than in yours? Does your family just seem to be at war at every turn? Do you, or a loved one, have health concerns that consume every moment of every day and night? Have you lost hope?

  However, the one constant in the upheaval of our lives is that God continues to love us. We just need to keep it that simple. God Loves Us. He gives us the abilities and free will to make our own choices and decisions, but we have to live with the results….good or bad. If He just stepped in and took care of everything for us, then He would simply be a puppet master and we would be dangling on the strings with no say in our lives. That’s not the way it works. But, I sometimes try to make my relationship with God far too difficult and theological, plus I allow others to complicate my faith by their opinions and I get all tangled up in their strings.  I just need to remember that God Loves Me.

  As David the Psalmist wrote, “I lay down and slept; I awoke, for the Lord kept me.” (Psalm 3:5). We can know that during the dark times of life that the Lord is keeping us. Sustaining us with His protection so that we can lay down and sleep. And then to wake up for a new day. Just me and God. And there is the Hope.

  And for today my friends, this has been the gospel according to Jimmy.

 

 Jimmy Cochran is a resident of McDonough, author, musician and minister.

 

 

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