DayBreaks for 7/12/18 – Out of the Kingdom of Darkness

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DayBreaks for 7/12/18: Out of the Kingdom of Darkness

The world watched with baited breath as a small army of divers and rescue personnel descended into a treacherous and deadly cave in an effort to rescue the “Wild Boars” – a soccer team and their coach, who had become trapped when monsoon rains flooded parts of the cave system. For a period approaching 10-12 days, the boys and their coach were in the cave with very little food. They drank water that dripped from the cave ceiling. And they were in darkness…total, utter darkness. I read that one of the boys in particular was terrified of darkness but he went with his teammates in an effort to overcome his fear. 

Fortunately, seemingly miraculously, all twelve boys and their coach made it out alive thanks to the sacrifices of their rescuers. Tragically, on Thai navy SEAL diver died during the effort to rescue these boys.

Colossians 1:13 (ESV) – He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son…

If you want to know what the kingdom of darkness looks like, just ask those boys. They know what darkness means. You can’t see. It is a place of fear. It is a place of want. It is uncomfortable and threatening. You long for light. It gnaws at you and causes you to give up hope and despair of rescue.

If you want to know what gratitude feels like, just ask those boys. Can you begin to imagine how their hearts leaped when the British divers with a headlight on their foreheads first popped up in the darkness and found the boys? Can you imagine how hope must have been reborn in that instant that they first saw light again? Can you try to imagine how each boy felt when at long last they exited the mouth of the cave that had held them captive and threatened them with certain death unless a miracle happened?

I don’t think most of us have a clue as to how dark was the kingdom that held us in its clutches. We don’t often see it as darkness because it is a darkness of the spirit brought about by the blackness of sin. The enemy of our souls makes it appear as light – he’s such a good liar – and we fall for it over and over again. For a sense of what it was like inside the caves, see this (and that was the easy part – try imagining even that without flashlights in passages as small as 15 inches wide!)

But miraculously, someone came searching for us, found us, and led us out of that inky black place into a kingdom diametrically opposite to that which held us. He is the Light, and in Him is no darkness at all.

But just as with the twelve boys and their coach, someone gave their life to rescue us. Unlike that navy SEAL diver, though, the one who gave his life for us came back to life and now guides us through the darkness of the former kingdom to the light. He’s been through that blackness of death that would kill us and been victorious over it so that he knows the way out of the darkness. We need not fear. He will not fail us!  

We should be terrified of the darkness that surrounds us for when it is seen clearly it is terrifying. But we should never doubt our rescue or our Rescuer. 

And one more thing: our Rescuer has turned the tables on darkness. While it was dangerous for us as we were trapped there, now that we have been delivered not only do we no longer need to fear the darkness itself, but he has made us dangerous to the kingdom of darkness because now we have experienced the way out and can help others find the Light. 

It’s a dark, dark world. Let’s be brighter. 

PRAYER: Jesus, all glory to you for descending into the darkness, experiencing it, for your victory over it, so that you could lead us into your kingdom of Light and Life. May we never take the Light for granted! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

COPYRIGHT 2018 by Galen C. Dalrymple. All rights reserved.

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DayBreaks for 6/26/15 – Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are!

DayBreaks for 6/26/15: Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are

Galen is traveling and today’s DayBreaks is from the DayBreaks archive:

I remember playing hide and seek when I was a kid.  No, we didn’t have video games then, so we had to play boring old games where you had to run around and actually expend some energy!  I can’t say that I remember being very good at hide and seek.  Seems that I seldom got found.  Perhaps they just didn’t want to find ME!  But I remember I wasn’t all that great at finding others, either.  And of course, when you couldn’t find someone and you were ready to give up, you’d yell out “Come out, come out, wherever you are!”, and then all those who’d not been found would come out of their hiding places. 

I’m not sure, but I think that perhaps as we get older, we get better at hiding.  We start to hide our feelings (something that little kids can’t do very well), we hide our flaws and quirks, we work very hard at hiding our mistakes in the business world – and if caught – are quick to pass the blame along to someone else, which is really nothing more than another way of hiding. 

The very first game we ever play is usually “peek-a-boo”.  I’ve got to tell you that when I see grown ups acting like crazy folks playing peek-a-boo with their babies, I have to chuckle.  Don’t they know how silly they look?  (Hey – that’s not fair now, I used to play it with my kids – and now my grandkids – but somehow I’m sure I’ve managed to maintain a dignified look when I do it!)  It seems like a simple enough game, doesn’t it?  But it is a very important one, too, if you think about it.

What do babies learn from this simple game?  They learn things that we as adults need to remember rather than forget:

FIRST: we can try to hide ourselves, but we really can’t.  Just because we can’t see someone else (when we cover our eyes), it doesn’t mean that they’re not there.  It just means that our vision is blocked.  We can cover our eyes, but the parents know that we’re still there.  They can still see us with our eyes covered.  God sees us even when we try to blind ourselves to pretend that He’s not there and watching.  We are so foolish!

SECOND: we learn the joy of being “found” again.  The baby that removes their hands from their eyes and again sees mom or dad squeals with delight to be in contact again with the parent.  Their little faces crinkle all up with joy and excitement.  We need to remember the joy of being “found”.  We don’t want to be hidden, isolated, cut off from others.  Most of all, we shouldn’t want to be cut off from God.  But we tend to forget the joyfulness of being “found”.  Oh, that our faces should be like babes faces again and we would squeal with delight at knowing we’ve been found by God, and that we are in His tender care!

It’s been a long time since I’ve played hide-and-seek, but I think I’m about ready again.  How about you?

Copyright by 2005 Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

PRAYER: Jesus, help us to stop playing games and let us rejoice that we have been found!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

© 2015, Galen C. Dalrymple.

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DayBreaks for 04/09/12 – Playing Hide and Seek With God

DayBreaks for 04/09/12 – Playing Hide and Seek With God

From the DayBreaks archive, 04/02/02:

When I was a kid, I remember that I really enjoyed playing hide and seek.  It was a challenge of creativity to come up with the hiding place where no one would think to look, and to race back to the base and call out “Free!”.

Somehow, as I got older, my attitude about playing hide and seek changed.  It seems to have happened when I had my own kids, and we would play hide and seek.  When one of the kids was “it” and I’d be one of the ones who was supposed to be hiding, I really didn’t try very hard to hide.  Why?  Because I delighted in the squeal of laughter from my kids when they would find me…sometimes “hidden” in plain sight.

God plays hide and seek with us.  According to scripture, He does it much like I did with my kids.  Jeremiah 29:14 says – “I will be found by you,’ declares the LORD, “and I will restore your fortunes and will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you,’ declares the LORD, “and I will bring you back to the place from where I sent you into exile.”

God wants to be found!  He wants us to find Him!  And He delights when we do.  At the same time, we would do well to remember that, try as we might, we cannot hide from Him.  It didn’t work for Adam and Eve, Cain, Moses, Jonah or David.  It won’t work for us, either.

Are you seeking God?  He will be found…don’t give up the search!  He’s dying for you to find Him!

PRAYER: We were so lost, Lord, that we didn’t realize we were lost!  Thank You for finding us, and for delighting in our finding of You!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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