As Ann Voskamp (One Thousand Gifts) winds her car through the pre-dawn darkness with her son Levi- on the way to the hospital for Levi’s hand surgery- she clicks off the car radio and flips to Scripture on CD. Ann and Levi hear the following verse from Matthew 4:4- “People do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” This, Ann notes, is the only way to live full. It’s the Word of God that turns rocks of (ingratitude) in the mouth to loaves (of gratitude) on the tongue.
How, then, is it possible to live full (rise up) when the darkness of adversity descends? When the morning sun rises over the horizon, Ann has the answer- that all new life comes out of dark places. The ripe wheat in the fields started as seed in the black earth. From the darkness of the Cross comes the new life of the resurrection. It is suffering that bears down and delivers grace. And when grace chooses to bear that cross of suffering, suffering is overcome. Ann concludes that in the emptiness of darkness we can find the fullness of joy:
“And emptiness itself can birth the fullness of grace because in the emptiness we have the opportunity to turn to God, the only begetter of grace, and there find fullness of joy.”