Posted by: pmarkrobb | June 22, 2017

the well-lit side

i had the need this week to revisit some of my writing from previous years.  The activity was meaningful and enjoyable, akin to passing by markers on a journey that strangely seemed to be traveling kindred roads.  In reading, i found an entry that seemed to resonate so truly with the stretch i see in the rear view mirror of my right now, and decided to revisit it more closely and ultimately to share it with you again.  i pray it finds another life who needs its honest confession and concluding challenge and hope.  It goes something like this…

The day had started like almost all the others that week … iPad in one hand, a cup of coffee in the other.  i was settling into my sacred space, ready to open my heart to what God had for me that day.  Except somewhere between brew cycle and sacred, a darkness choked out the air and extinguished my light.  i’d love for people to know me only by my sweet and meaningful conversations with my boys, my deep and abiding love for my wife, and my sincere desire to meet the needs of others.  But unfortunately, to know me like that is to know only part of me.  To truly know me, is to know the wrecking ball that my thought life can be, the dark spaces where my heart can too quickly run, the great sadness that i can both inflict and become.

In traveling and praying through my dark spaces, i have discovered something about myself.  Something that is most likely true of all of us.  In the midst of the darkness, at the moment i need Him most, i reject God’s presence.  i’m tempted to say “i don’t invite him into it,” but i believe it’s more true that I reject him being a part of it.

So many questions flooded my mind that morning.  Even the seemingly simple ones had no answer in response … only more questions.  i wish that i could remember them, and i wish that particular battle had been punctuated with some final and lasting victory.  What i am certain of, instead, are two equally vital truths.  First, that God already knows the depth, breadth and minute details of my dark spaces … the ones i retreat or cower into and securely shut the door behind myself.  And second, that He stands persistently knocking on the well-lit side of that door, wanting desperately to be invited in.

We so often invite God into ourselves like we invite a newcomer into our home.  We deliver an invite for a specific date and time and are excited for them to come.  We prepare for their arrival, taking particular care to clean what can be seen and give our best effort to make our home a space where they will feel welcome and comfortable.  Inevitably though, there is a room or space that we would be embarrassed for our guests to see.  We proudly show off the sparkling spaces, but distract attention from, walk past, or explain away the space where they are not welcome.

God has been so merciful to me as i have been opening doors to those unwelcome spaces.  As doors open, the revealing and healing light of His presence has burst in where once only darkness existed.

If the story of those spaces sounds all too familiar, i offer you hope and encourage you that the knocking on the well-lit side of that dark door is Jesus.  Don’t be afraid, He already knows.  And His work on the cross makes it certain that your darkness holds no power over you, if you’ll just invite Him in.  Don’t wait, do it today, do it now!


  1. Thanks for sharing His care, direction, provision and love. 🙂 It draws my thoughts to 1 John 1:5-7:

    “This is the message we have heard from Him and declare to you: God is light; In Him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with Him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from all sin.”

    This could be taken as a harsh thumping of God’s word on a transparent sharing from a hurting heart. A “just do it” moment/statement! But, the real purpose is to actually offer hope and encouragement as we sit in darkness. God is NOT looking for us to straighten up, choose right, determine good, and step into the light! No, He is encouraging us, welcoming us, to expose what is binding us in the darkness to the presence of His light.

    God – “Walk with Me in the Light with all those things that weigh on you in the dark.” 🙂

    Me – “But You will be disappointed, maybe angry. with what you see. You will find reason to bring judgment and perhaps cast me out.”

    God – “Oh no, my son……my daughter, all your deserved judgment and penalties have already been fully consumed in My Son, your Savior! Walk, the true and full you, with me in light! 🙂

    I believe the above truth often goes unnoticed in this passage, because we so strongly focus on His great Light and our great darkness, concluding that I need to change before welcoming that light……or even perhaps that it will never happen! We miss that the Son – the blood of His Son – purifies us “in the light”! We are not purified that we might walk in His light! We walk in His light that we might be purified! Light precedes purity! Walking with our Father in His light precedes our cleansing! It can happen no other way! This scripture seems to support the thought that we “stop lying and start living by the truth” not when we have no lies and all truth, but rather when our lies and non-truths are exposed to the light. Not when sin is expelled, but rather when it is exposed!

    What a loving, compassionate, understanding, long-suffering, providing, enabling, gracious, merciful heavenly Father we have!! 🙂 Thank You Father! 🙂 What an amazing, totally for us, sacrificing, relating, selfless, empowering Savior we have!! 🙂 Thank You Jesus! 🙂

    Again, onWord, thanks for being a sharer in, and of, His Truth and Light! For being an extension of our Father’s initiation of thought, encouragement and hope! 🙂

  2. The darkest rooms are the ones He most wants to enter.

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