I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he calledâ€”his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance.
(Ephesians 1:18 NLT)
Several years back I, along with my wife and son, were going through what I call, â€œThe Dark Night of the Soul.â€ It was such a difficult time and things lookedâ€¦.well, pretty dark and hopeless. This didnâ€™t last a few days, but several months – 18 to be more precise.
We were serving as college pastors as well as working professionally. We had more irons in more fires than those found at the Boy Scouts National Jamboree. Then, everything came crashing in. Things well beyond our control (and very little to do with anything we had done right or wrong, for that matter) had broken us down to a point where we could really see no way out.
I began meeting with one of the staff pastors on a regular basis (every morning to be exact) for coffee, prayer andâ€¦.hope. Every core belief was being challenged by the gates of hell, and it looked like they were winning. I remember telling Pastor Sam, â€œI just donâ€™t think I can go on another minuteâ€. That wasnâ€™t being melodramatic, it was really how I felt. Sickness, financial despair, mental anguish, spiritual death and anything else you could imagine was hitting me.
My friend began reading to me from Ephesians 1. I knew the passage, heck, by that time in my life I had read the Bible through completely countless times. You see, the word was in my head, some had even made it into the caverns of my heart, but for the most part, they felt like empty phrases to me.
Pastor Sam asked me a very simple question, â€œI realize you donâ€™t feel like you can make it through the day, but can you make it another few minutes?â€. Hey wait a minute, I know what you are trying to pullâ€¦. He prayed that the eyes of my heart would be opened so I could see the HOPE of my calling.
He and I sat there in silence for several minutes and then he exclaimed â€œYeah!, you did it!â€ Thatâ€™s hope at work in you! Something inside snapped. It seemed like a light came on and I started to feel the power of what Ephesians 1 was talking about.
â€¦.my heart flooded with LIGHT, so that I could UNDERSTAND the CONFIDENT HOPE he HAS given to those he called. Not hope that he WILL GIVE me, but hope that he HAS GIVEN me. I had wrestled greatly with the disconnection between my head, my heart and the circumstances around me.
Long story short(er). From that day onward, my heart (and head) began to grow in strength and hope. I began to understand the hope he HAS ALREADY GIVEN TO ME!
Are you in the â€œDark night of the soulâ€? Maybe you donâ€™t think you can go on. Let me pray this over you right nowâ€¦
Father, In the name of Jesusâ€¦
â€œI pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he calledâ€”his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance.” (Ephesians 1:18 NLT)
~ Jeffrey Gillum