Some of the most peaceful and tranquil hours of the day are found in the moments before the sun rises. These hours are full of promise. The world has not awoken. The hustle and bustle of the day have not begun. With the rising of the sun darkness is chased away and the light begins to emerge. It is a transition from the darkness of night to light of day and it is not without struggle. In the predawn it is difficult to see, stumbling over what our eyes can not fully comprehend.
Our spiritual journey is full of these kinds of transitions from darkness to light…from death to new life. In part, it is because our knowledge is partial and incomplete (we cannot see the whole picture). There are many other reasons we remain in the darkness–disobedience and a lack of trust–ranking high on the list. But the reasons do not matter as much as the choice to step into the light.
Recently, I have experienced this transition from darkness into light. A transition of sorts from death into new life as I had the privilege to walk along side a close family member battling cancer. It is one of the most painful experiences to watch a loved one suffer and feel so helpless to bring relief. Yet, I cannot take this transition away, nor should I. The dawning of a new day requires that we walk through the predawn transition. It can be a depressing and somber walk even if you have the hope of morning coming. At times it is only the prayers of another that carry you through. The interceding of those who have gone before you. Those who have first hand experience that “weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.”
The physical birth of new life mirrors this transition of the physical death to the resurrected eternal life in heaven. For those of you who have giving birth, you know all to well that the transition period of labor is the hardest. It is the time right before the baby is born. Hospice nurses say that the transitioning from this life into the next is ironically similar to the painful experience women endure before bringing new life into this world. Some pass through it with minimal struggle, but the majority labor through it. Even though we can coach people to relax and “let go” our flesh is often reluctant to let new life be birthed.
No matter how much we try and stop it there is pain in transition. The process of dying to ourselves requires a relinquishing of control and it is often just as painful for those who are watching. Whether you are coaching your wife through the labor process or reassuring your dying loved one… there will be pain in the transition, but the process is invaluable all the more. What you are learning–even though you are not fully comprehending it at–rest assured there will be fruit in the future. So as you journey through the transitions of life, whether it is the life of Christ being birthed within you or the interceding on the behalf of another, you can be confident of this…