Sunday, October 5, 2008

A Heavy Darkness

A psalm of David. When he fled from his son Absalom.
1 O
LORD, how many are my foes! How many rise
up against me!
2 Many are saying of me,
"God will not deliver him."
Selah [
3 But you are a shield around me, O
LORD; you bestow glory on me and lift
b] up my head.
4 To the LORD I cry
aloud, and he answers me from his holy
hill. Selah
5 I lie down and
sleep; I wake again, because the LORD
sustains me.
6 I will not fear the tens of thousands
drawn up against me on every side.
7 Arise, O LORD! Deliver me, O my
God! Strike all my enemies on the jaw;
break the teeth of the wicked.
From the LORD comes deliverance. May your
blessing be on your people.
Psalm 3:2 A word of uncertain meaning, occurring frequently in the Psalms; possibly a musical term
Psalm 3:3 Or LORD , / my Glorious One, who lifts

Today, I’m going to bare more of myself than I want to. You may ask, ‘Well, if you don’t want to, why are you?’

I’ve come to a crossroads with God, where I can’t seem to write about anything but what He places in front of me. I’ve resisted and it worked against me, as if I had just had a dose of sodium pentothal. Spy flicks would call ‘sodium pentothal’, “truth serum”.

One example from the Bible of an experience I’ve had several times in my life is found in Genesis 15:12.

“As the sun was setting, Abram fell
Into a deep sleep, and a thick and
Dreadful darkness came over him.”

It is this “thick and dreadful darkness” I continue to experience in my sleep.

The scripture passage I am borrowing from today (at the top of this post) speaks of David’s fear of his enemies and how he can lay his head down and sleep at night because God’s glory surrounds him.

What the passage from Genesis 15, Psalm 3 and my continued childhood dread has in common is that of God’s presence in a person’s life. You see, the word for ‘glory’ in Psalm 3:3 is the Hebrew word ‘kavodh’. ‘Kavodh’ comes from ‘kevedh’, meaning “honor, weight, esteem”.

From kavedh, the ‘main idea’ caused an invocation to remember the “thick and dreadful darkness” I have feared since I was a child and continue to experience from time-to-time in my sleep. The ‘main idea’ in kavedh, is to “becomes heavy”, which then “wealth” becomes. So, ‘kevedh’ can be a “wealth” of; sin, severity, intensiveness, greatness, and honor.

As a child, on occasion, during sleep, I would feel that a heavy darkness was rolling over me. It rolled over me from head to toe, literally. Quite reminds me of a steam roller for flattening newly laid asphalt.

On one occasion, after the dreadful darkness rolled across my body and I felt it’s weight, I had a dream. As dreams go, this one was an odd one. One part of it reminds me of a scene from The Wizard of Oz.

This particular dream was of my mother, sister and aunt sitting on a side porch which offered a view of the woods across the street from our farm house in Ohio. In my dream, there were fire trucks and fire fighters whom had pinned a witch up in a tree. (Told you this was a weird one. Wizard of Oz scene about to unfold) The firefighters sprayed water up into the trees and the witch dissolved.

Today, I view the dissolving witch as the defeat of evil.

My father terrorized our household when he became drunk. (Here is how I come to the conclusion of the evil being defeated and the part of the definition of ‘glory’ or ‘kavedh’). ‘Glory’ (kavedh) can mean, “honor, weight, esteem”. Now, in Psalm 3:3, David considered this ‘glory’ (kavedh) to be a shield. Certainly, nothing is going to penetrate this ‘sheild’ of God’s Glory; His weight; or, the ‘severity’ of His ‘weight’.

I can tell you of all of the unbelievable abuses endured as a child. But, there is not any point in it, here. I will simply say, I believe I was protected from death when I was a child. Having had the feeling of God’s weight on me indicates to me that God’s glory rested and seemingly, will continue to rest on me for a special purpose.

Innocent in my child hood, I can see how God, knowing and seeing the passion I would eventually have as an adult would preserve me. But, now , as an adult, I have felt less than worthy of the continued sense of God’s shield, or weight over me. I sometimes feel very worldly in my thinking and my behavior. And, I wander, what part of the definition will apply next? I want those things I find to create conflicting loyalties in my life to disappear. But, now, it is with much pain, that I must act to cause them to go away. This is where my effort will focus in the coming days. Funny, how those things of our childhood will surface to remind us and convict us.


Tamela's Place said...

Hello Jim,

My husband suffered a lot in his childhood as well. I won't go into details but death, drunkeness, physical, sexual and emotional abuse was a part of his life as a child. He had a hard time coming to terms with life and God. Anger and hurt burned deep in his soul, and it was relentless at times, which caused him to have unrest and to be self condemning and very hard on him self.

During this time God began revealing to him WHO he was in His Son Christ Jesus. The TRUTH was WHO he was in Christ Jesus, not what he considered himself to be because of horrible life experiences. His thoughts of himself began to be overidden with with Christ's thought of him. He was begining to be baptized in God's Love for Him.

Fear, self condemnation, anger, addictions all had left him once he realized the thoughts of the Lord toward him and who He was in His sight and not who he thought he was in his own sight.

Seasons of deep soul searching can be tough sometimes but through it all Christ is opening our hearts to a deeper intimacy/love for Him. And as our love grows in Him and for Him our love for others will do the same. I realize i am not sharing with you things you don't already know. But i hope my words will confirm and encourage you to know that you are truly growing in His Love. And God sees this in you and is pleased and others that truly love God will see it in you as well.

jeleasure said...

Thank you for sharing this. I had thoughts of wanting to share more. But, as it appears, I would not have been revealing much to anyone which would have discouraged them from commenting. No one but you commented.
My father was a raging alcoholic. I was always the target of wrath. I was told that when I was less than a week old, my father held a shot gun on me. I believe this, because when I was about 9 years old, my father attempted at cutting my throat while my arthritic Grand mother held him off. My father had previously knocked my Grand father unconscious and he had to wake himself up and come to my Grand mother's assistance in preventing my dad from hurting me. There were more incidents. But, these, I think were the worst.
My Grandmother is the person who influenced me in my Christianity.
I have gotten passed a lot of temptation to not be the person I am today. But, I do, as Joe did, sometimes question who I am.