The Dark Before The Dawn
As I sit here at my desk at Teen Challenge, I hear the voices of our students…. They are excited about going to a Good Friday service. For a number of our students, this will be the first Good Friday service they have ever gotten to attend. Before they came into Teen Challenge their lives were in such dark places that a Good Friday service would be the furthest from their minds. This started me thinking about how dark it must have been on that first Good Friday. I cannot imagine how the Disciples felt; how Mary felt and others who followed Jesus. They saw Him whipped; ridiculed; falsely judged; and now crucified. They must have felt a sense of loss like none other; fear and possibly despair. Though Jesus spoke of the resurrection, I doubt that they had a grasp on what was about to happen. But Sunday did come! Jesus did rise – breaking the chains of death, Hell and the grave…. FOREVER! And because of His death and resurrection we now not only have the opportunity for eternal life, but we can live a victorious life right here and now.
Before our students come into the program, their lives are filled with “death” – death to dreams; relationships and even worse. Their lives are filled with a darkness colored by hopelessness; shame; guilt; and pain. Then comes Jesus! He rolls away every stone in their lives, bringing a new dawn. He shows them that they have new life through Him. Amazing! Though I have been in ministry many years, I never tire of seeing how God changes lives – how God brings life to lives that had long been given up for certain death. Yes, I am enjoying hearing the giggles and pure joy as my students get ready for service, but more than that, I am so grateful that no matter how dark the circumstance, that through Jesus there is a new dawn!
My encouragement to each reader is this: No matter how dark the circumstance; no matter how far a person has gone down a destructive path – as long as there is breath, there is hope. That same resurrection power that raised Jesus from the dead is still at work today! I have literally seen people who have had to have been paddled back to life after an overdose; who have been told they could never change, go onto live amazing lives. There is a saying: “It is always darkest before the dawn.” Maybe you or someone you know is living in that darkest hour… remember the dawn will come! Never, never, never give up on anyone – yourself or anyone else! We serve a life changing, living, resurrected Savior who still changes lives today! #sundayisacoming