I recognized the cookie long before I recognized the prophet.
“I felt like the Lord told me to give this to you,” Suzanne said, handing me a cookie.
I stared at the one eyed creature.
“When I saw this I felt like God was saying, ‘You have doMINION over the darkness—get it?”
I burst out laughing.
“This isn’t meant to be eaten,” she said. “Just keep it.”
People have handed me all kinds of items over the years at events, but this was my first one-eyed cookie.
This packaged snack sits next to my Bible on our living room table.
The little guy is stale by now, but the woman’s words are as fresh in mind as if just pulled out of the oven.
Sometimes I forget this truth. I suspect you forget, too.
The darkness rolls in taking the form of…
self-hatred after a glance in the mirror
another day of pain
what felt like a betrayal from a friend
a dose of discouragement
the memory of someone you’d give anything for one more day with
The pathway of darkness takes many forms, but the results are all too similar.
Darkness looms with starless, midnight shadows. Clouds our minds. Storms our emotions. Thunders against our resolve. Blinds us to the truth of who and whose we are.
The Scripture tells us we not defenseless.
Jesus does not leave us in the dark.
“For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” —Colossians 1:13-14
Jesus is not afraid of the dark.
“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”—Romans 8:38-39
Often when I read this from Romans I focus on the spelunking the depths of God’s love, climbing toward the peaks. But this passages reminds us that darkness is inevitable in this life.
Yet God’s love wins. Every time.
I have a variety of strategies when it comes to staring down the darkness. I hope you do, too.
I snuggle into the truth of Scripture—reading, reciting, reflecting.
I call on the name of Jesus, that nombre above all nombres.
I ask God to awaken the other believers to pray for me in that moment.
I tuck myself in bed and remind myself the darkness will shrink with a good night’s sleep.
I refuse to engage in the downward spiral of thinking and set my mind on brighter thoughts.
But the prophet with the cookie reminded me of another powerful tactic—joy.
Sometimes you and I need to push back the darkness through laughter, silliness, and joy. This is the key to flourishing again.
A weekend getaway with friends.
A night of giggling and laughter.
An evening with a great comedy.
An afternoon with a funny book.
A breakfast with that person who makes you laugh every time you’re with them.
A morning of hilarious YouTube videos.
Sometimes we shove back the darkness by…
Not taking ourselves so seriously.
Engaging in the spiritual discipline of being a goofball.
Sharing laughter with others.
Or simply being reminded that you, yes, you, have doMINION over the darkness.
Now you still maybe wondering: was the woman with the cookie really a prophet? Maybe she wasn’t an official prophet, but one who spoke words of life, hope, and truth into my heart.
And we need to be people who live on high alert for the encouragement God’s gives us—whatever form it takes.
My hope and prayer for you (and me, too) is that we will be a people who take doMINION over the darkness and learn to flourish today.