Hope in the Darkness

Winter can be a particularly trying time for those who struggle with depression and bipolar disorder. The increased darkness outside can begin to reflect in our hearts and so increase the darkness within.

I know Pr. Bryan has posted here before about the challenge of winters in Alaska where the days are extremely short. But even in the Pacific Northwest, Seasonal Affective Disorder is a big problem. When you drive to work in very little light and drive home again in pitch dark, which is even darker when it is raining, it is hard to remember the long days of summer.

It is during this dark season that we must cling even more to the Light of Christ so that the darkness does not overcome us. We must cling to the faithfulness of our God who brings the sun every morning and the seasons in their turn, so that we know spring and summer will follow the darkness.

Thinking about this one dark night earlier this week, I wrote a poem, which I posted on my blog, Linda Kruschke’s Blog, as a Thankful Thursday post. I hope you like my ode to God’s promise of hope and light that stands firm even in the darkness, and that it reminds you of the hope we have in Jesus.

Hope in the Darkness

Sun sinks below the horizon
Darkness envelopes all life in my view
Each night the darkness comes sooner
Each morning the sun arises anew

This season, winter, brings darkness
It seems to engulf the light of my soul
Sometimes the darkness is deeper
And blacker than the blackest mine of coal

But winter does not last forever
Spring and summer bring sun ever near
Hope of a Light everlasting
Is all that my darkened soul needs to hear

In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

John 1:4-5 (NIV).

Music Soothes the Soul

By Linda K.

Anyone who has read much of my blog, Linda Kruschke’s Blog, knows that I love music. I’ve devoted my Monday posts to music topics and many other days end up including a music component, too. Music can lift my spirits, give me encouragement, and get me moving when I’m down. But over the years I’ve learned that not all music has this positive impact.

Many years ago I listened to a lot of grunge music. It was my favorite genre in the late 80s and into the 90s. This was a time in my life when I was struggling with major depression, and I liked grunge because it expressed how I felt.

I remember when my dad died in 1993, I kept listening to the song “Indifference” by Pearl Jam. I won’t post the video because it’s not a song I want to encourage anyone to listen to. But the first four lines sum up the gist of the song:

i will light the match this mornin’, so i won’t be alone
watch as she lies silent, for soon light will be gone
i will stand arms outstretched, pretend i’m free to roam
           i will make my way, through, one more day in hell…

Listening to this song never made me feel better, but I just kept listening to it, missing my dad, feeling alone and like I was living in hell.

We all know the old saying “misery loved company.” I think that is the draw of music like grunge or the blues, to know that someone else understands your misery seems comforting. But when the music doesn’t end with hope or any words of encouragement, it’s the wrong company to be in when a person is struggling or feeling down.

We all have times of struggling, of loved ones lost or physical or mental illness we can’t find a cure to, of lost jobs or spiritual or emotional pain that just won’t end. When those times come, there is a lot of great music out there to lift your spirits and give you hope. That’s the kind of music I choose to listen to these days and the kind I like to share on Monday.

I do still love to listen to the blues, but preferably when things are going well in my life. At these times it is a reminder of the struggles of this life that we all endure so that I remember to be compassionate towards those I encounter who may be struggling and to be thankful for God seeing me through my own struggles.

One of my blogging friends called me her “music mentor” in a recent comment. I like that title. I am thankful that the Lord has led me to good music that does provide hope and encouragement, and that Pr. Bryan has provided me with this forum to share it with the many broken believers who read this blog. If you need a good song to lift you up, just let me know. I’d be blessed to be able to point you in the right direction. For starters, here’s one of my favorites. It’s by MercyMe and is called “Beautiful.” Let it be a reminder that to God you are beautiful, no matter how the world may see you or how you may see yourself.

CCM Spotlight–Jamie Owens Collins

 

“The Battle Belongs to the Lord” by Jamie Owens Collins

Jamie Owens Collins carried a neat anointing whenever she sang.  Furthermore she had a strong influence on later generation female vocalists, like Amy Grant and Twila Paris.

Unfortunately, few if any any videos of her ministering can be found.  I chose this song as its her voice (which was stellar) and the lyrics can be read while you listen in.

“No one will be able to oppose you successfully as long as you live. I will be with you as I was with Moses. I will never neglect you or abandon you.”

Joshua 1:5

Don’t believe the liar nor his lies! =)~

“Hard Times” by Jamie Owens Collins

Another classic, around 1975 I think.

Interesting link:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Love:_a_Historic_Gathering_of_Jesus_Music_Pioneers

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