I believe in the sun,
even when it is not shining.
I believe in love,
even though I don’t feel it.
I believe in God,
even when He is silent. – Unknown
Etched on a cellar wall by a victim of the Holocaust, these words won’t leave me.
Yes — even when…
I first heard this truth from the lips of a middle school choir. We lead busy lives, as most of you do, and that night we had raced to our daughter’s choir concert. I love these concerts, for my girl comes alive on stage, and these times are a reminder that God will unfold any story He wants in my children’s lives. There are glimpses of me in my kids, but the real joy comes in watching their talents that could only be God-inspired, not mom-inspired.
I was unprepared to hear from my Rescuer that night. I was still catching my breath from our race to the concert.
But there in the dark and in the quiet, came the most heart-wrenching song of surrender:
I believe in the sun, I believe in the sun,
even when, even when it’s not shining.
I believe in love, I believe in love,
even when, even when I don’t feel it.
I believe in God, I believe in God,
even when, even when He is silent. 1
Oh, thirteen year-olds, yes. Etch these words on the walls of your hearts for you will need to read them again someday. I wish it wasn’t true, but yes.
Just as I know the sun exists when there are clouds covering it, shadowing my city, I will cling to what has been proven as true. And just as I know love is real even when I don’t feel it from certain people, I will remember the world is bigger than my own loneliness in those moments. And just as I know God not only exists, but holds His purposes together with fierce intention, I will trust Him when He is silent.
Why does surrender bring me to tears? Why does trusting a silent God take my breath away as confusion and conviction and even comfort together press upon my chest? Why can’t I find words as I ponder His silence?
And there’s no mistake that this truth was written by an “unknown” author… an “unknown” victim… an “unknown” teacher who is still teaching me truth years later, for my Maker is calling me to “unknownness” even now:
- It’s in surrendering being known by others that He mysteriously reminds me I’m cherished by Him. And His divine intimacy mocks loneliness.
- It’s in refusing to be swallowed up by the dark that I see Him unchanged by the darkness. His power transcends my fear of not being understood.
- It’s His unchanging love, even when I’m too self-absorbed to feel it, that helps me not drown in shame.
- It’s His silence that causes me to read others’ stories of His faithfulness and see He is not defined by our expectations of who He should be.
Yes, children, on the eve of adulthood — the sun does shine, love does exist, our Maker is real — regardless of our experiences.
Even if I am afraid, and think to myself,
“There is no doubt that the darkness will swallow me,
and the light around me will soon be turned to night,”
You can see in the dark. Psalm 139:11-12
He can see in the dark.
Oh, to be like the Psalmist who boldly testifies that His God can see in the dark instead of begging Him to take the darkness away.
Will you join me this Easter season? Will you trust the One who is not defined by our expectations? Will you surrender all of your plans — even the ones you wildly dared to hope for? As D.A. Carson writes, “Christians have learned that when there seems to be no other evidence of God’s love, they cannot escape the cross.” 2
And so we start there. The cross. If you’re needing to recalibrate your perspective, let’s focus on different aspects of that horrific day in the life of Jesus, that beautiful day in the life of the Christian, that day of fulfillment for our Redeemer’s plan. Bookmark or pin this page, and beginning Monday, come back for daily devotionals to prepare you for Easter, to prepare you for surrendering to a Plan bigger than your own…
… even when He is — in the moment — silent.
1 Mark Miller. “I Believe.” J. W. Pepper online. Accessed March 25, 2018. http://www.jwpepper.com/I-Believe/10335690.item#/
2. DA Carson. How Long, 191.