– by J.D. Greear –
A few years ago, I read a book about Ernest Shackleton’s failed mission to be the first explorer to cross Antarctica. His plan was to sail as far south as he could and then walk a hundred or so miles across the South Pole. But there was an early freeze, and the ship got caught and crushed in polar ice several hundred miles from their destination. For more than a year, Shackleton’s group fought to stay alive in subzero temperatures. But the worst thing for these men was not the temperature. It was the darkness. At the South Pole, you see, the sun goes down in mid-May and doesn’t come back up until August. Those who have experienced this say that there is no desolation so devastating as the polar night—darkness all the time. Weeks upon weeks of no light at all.
The prophet Jeremiah described how he felt driven to a place of “darkness without any light”:
I am the man who has seen affliction under the rod of his wrath; he has driven and brought me into darkness without any light; surely against
No light. No hope. That’s how Jeremiah felt, and maybe you can relate. The “he” that Jeremiah is talking about is God. Maybe you’ve also felt like God is not listening—or, even more, you wonder, “God, are you behind this terrible circumstance? At the very least, you’re not doing anything to stop it.”