The past few weeks have been tough for me, but I know that it has been tougher for some of my friends and family. There has been loss and illness and pervasive sadness. I wrote this a couple of years ago and I felt pressed to share it again.
The Lord has laid on my heart to encourage someone reading this today that “even darkness must pass.”
Famed English author and professor J.R.R. Tolkien wrote about this in his book “Lord of the Rings.” In volume two called “The Two Towers,” more than midway in their quest, Frodo and Sam have faced overwhelming odds of death and destruction. They has been tasked to carry Dark Lord Sauron’s powerful master ring back to the fires of Mount Doom from which it came, and spare Middle-earth from the evil Shadow that is bearing down. But the path they tread has caused much despair and Frodo has about given up hope. He tells his companion he can’t carry on.
To which Sam replies, “I know. It’s all wrong. By rights we shouldnt even be here. But we are. It’s like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger, they were. And sometimes you didn't want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something, even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn’t. They kept going. Because they were holding on to something. … That there’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo ... and it’s worth fighting for.”
I want to highlight that phrase again: “Even darkness must pass.”
Growing up, my mom told me when things got a little hairy, “This too shall pass.”
The Bible repeatedly tells story after story of hope and many Scriptures dare you to press on.
“The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” — Psalm 18:2
“Now thus says Yahweh, who created you, O Jacob, and He who formed you, O Israel: ‘Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name, you are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you: when you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, neither shall the flame kindle upon you. For I am Yahweh, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior; I have given Egypt as your ransom, Ethiopia and Seba in your stead.’” — Isaiah 43:1-3
“Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth, faints not, neither is weary; His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint; and to him who has no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall; but those who wait for Yahweh shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; they shall walk, and not faint.” — Isaiah 40:28-31
“I have told you these things so that you would find comfort in Me. In this world, you will suffer; but be courageous, for I have overcome the world!” — John 16:33
“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful.” — Hebrews 10:23
My word to you is “even darkness must pass.” That tough jam you are in, the stress and strain at work, the burden you bear of grief and sorrow — it will not go on forever! It will pass and a new day will dawn. The sun will shine into the crevices, forcing darkness to flee, and you will find your smile again.
Take heed from a couple of stanzas of the hymn “Amazing Grace”: “Through many dangers, toils and snares, I have already come; ‘Tis grace hath bro’t me safe thus far, and grace will lead me home. The Lord has promised good to me, His word my hope secures; He will my shield and portion be as long as life endures.”
Contact Ruth Ann Replogle at www.facebook.com/JustHoldOnRR or firstname.lastname@example.org