“Stars can't shine without darkness.” - D. H. Sidebottom
This is one of my favorite quotes. This quote can come across both depressing and not depressing at the same time. I know what I am saying is contradictory and probably confusing you, but I’ll try to explain what I mean.
To me, it means that we must shine brightest in every bad thing life throws at us. Through depression, through anxiety, through panic attacks, through any physical or mental attack – we must shine. Letting the darkness take over is not an option.
God knows what He is doing when He is doing it. When darkness enters your life, you wonder and ask the simple question “Why?”. No one really knows why these things happen, but there is always a purpose behind each problem thrown our way. God knows what He is doing when He is doing it. He is not a cruel God. He loves you very much. Even if you do not think so, He does. You are never alone. He is constantly fighting for you.
“And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:20b).
I am not telling you to read this, but there is a book that actually talks of an instance like this. A great tragedy has befallen a family and each is having trouble coping. The father gets a mysterious letter and ends up going on a fantastic journey, which builds a strong bond with God. The book I am referring to is The Shack by William P. Young. I have not read the book yet, but I have seen the movie. Its story and message are so strong and uplifting, especially to those who are hurting.
When I watched the movie, it made me look at my own faith and see all the mistakes I had made and how I was acting like the judge when I did not know the full picture. In the movie, the main message is God is always with you, even through the pain. I think the writer had Matthew 28:20 in his mind when he wrote this.
“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds” (Psalm 147:3).
I saw a quote once that said, “God gives the hardest battles to His strongest soldiers.” God often allows hardships into our lives to make us more mature. By overcoming battles in your own life, you are ultimately becoming stronger in your faith. He also puts you through these things to help others who may be struggling with the same things in their lives. When you share, you end up finding people exactly like you. Some are even people you know really well, and that you never would have guessed were going through something similar.
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).
Your darkest times even strengthen your testimony. I know it sounds ridiculous, but think about it. How many well-known Christian leaders do you know of that have a squeaky clean testimony? No mess-ups, mistakes, or dark parts themselves? The only man that can say He had a perfect one would be Christ. We are all sinners and all have things in our lives that will hurt or even damage us in a way. Through those dark moments, they (and we) are able to reach out to those hurting in the same ways. This gives us an opportunity to witness in a greater way.
Non-believers usually think we live perfect and sinless lives. We all know this is not true. Half the time, when they find out what we have or are going through, they are shocked. We think our choices or circumstances in the past will always haunt us; there is no guarantee that they will not. Sometimes our greatest weaknesses can turn into our greatest strengths. People who do not believe or uncertain of what they believe are usually able to connect with us more when they find our scars. While ours are scars, theirs could still be open and gushing wounds. We can help with the healing; through how we overcame and how God helped us overcome it.
Sharing is a personal thing. You do not have to if you do not want to. No one is pushing you to do it. We are just stating facts right now. Do not be afraid to let God's light shine through you, or to be the star shining through the darkness.