“He took me by the hand and walked me
into pitch-black darkness.”
—Lamentations 3:3, The Message
“When life is heavy and hard to take, go off by yourself. Enter the silence. Bow in prayer. Don't ask questions: Wait for hope to appear. Don't run from trouble. Take it full-face. The ‘worst’ is never the worst. Why? Because the Master won't ever walk out and fail to return.”
—Lamentations 3:28-31, The Message
There is a great old song “I Want Jesus to Walk with Me,” and in my mind I can hear it being sung in rich, resonant tones with a touch of melancholy yearning. Reading through the book of Lamentations in The Message version, I have been struck again how little I really understand about God. And some of the stuff I read there makes me think about this more: Do I really want Jesus to walk with me? Do I want the God who takes me by the hand and leads me into pitch-black darkness to walk with me? I suppose if I have to go into pitch-black darkness, I want him with me, but “walking with God” is maybe not the saccharine, moralistic, clearly defined road some of us want it to be. Instead walking with God might mean taking one step and another and another into the pitch-black night.
So what do I do in the darkness? Lamentations assures me God won’t ever walk out and fail to return; but that implies he does walk out. He takes me by the hand and leads me into pitch-black darkness. And he walks out.
I want Jesus to walk with me. But I’m terrified of him sometimes.