The Dark Crossroads – October 10, 2016

Thought’s for Today…

I wrote this devotion about four years ago, but just felt like I needed to share it with everyone this week.

After Whitney Houston’s sudden death, the world has fixated on replaying her iconic and now more emotional performances of her signature songs. And what stuck in my mind is the video they have shown of one of her first performances and the video of one of her last.

The early video shows her as a young girl, singing in her Newark, New Jersey church, belting out “just a little talk with Jesus makes it right.” The other video was called “Whitney’s last public performance.” It appeared to be an impromptu duet. The song “Yes, Jesus Loves Me.” I thought, “Man, bookends of her life.”

Clearly, Jesus was part of the life of this legendary performer whose singular way with a song brought people to call her simply “The Voice.” But all of the tributes and the flashbacks of Whitney’s unforgettable musical mountaintops are punctuated with the disturbing images of her personal life spinning tragically out of control. Her “turbulent marriage” they said, her battles with admitted drug addiction, and then the troubling pictures of a beautiful woman in disarray and decline.

Now, according to Whitney’s own public statements and numerous reports from the news and personal friends, things went very wrong in a life that lit up stages around the world. And none of us knows what went on in the heart and soul of this tormented diva, of course. What we can know is what’s going on in our own, in light of the life and loss of Whitney Houston. The big question that comes to me as I sort through all of this tragedy and sadness is, “Where do you turn when you hit the dark crossroads?”

We all get there. It’s that point of desperation where the hurt is so great and the answers so few, and you’ve got to decide where to turn. Many roads lead to that crossroads: a marriage that promised happiness but it’s just delivering hurt, a soul-ripping tragedy, bad news from the doctor or from the boss, the betrayal, the breakup, the broken heart.

At the dark crossroads, you’ve got to choose which way you will go – toward the darkness or toward the light. You choose the darkness when you go to the drugs and the drinking, a sexual affair or sexual fantasies for relief, a “solution” that isn’t one. It only creates more problems. It’s darkness when you descend into the pit of harbored bitterness, or anger, or self-pity. Emotional cancer, that’s what it really is, and it doesn’t do anything to the person who hurt you, but it slowly destroys you.

I’ve found that there’s one choice that you make at the dark crossroads that is the difference between hope and despair, between a healed heart and a hard heart, between being free or being shackled, between character-growing choices or life-scarring mistakes. It’s what you do with Jesus at the dark crossroads.

Some people find Jesus when everything else has failed them. But sadly, some people walk away from Him, thus abandoning the only hope of finding meaning and strength in the trouble. No one stays in the same place with Jesus when the tsunami hits. You end up either closer to Him or farther from Him. You choose.

See, God’s posted a sign at the dark crossroads. It’s our word for today from the Word of God in Deuteronomy 30:19-20 . It says, “I have set before you life and death…Now choose life, so that you and your children may live…the Lord is your life.” Jesus illuminated the two directions when He contrasted the devil’s plans for you with His plans, “The thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy, but I have come that they might have life and have it to the full” (John 10:10 ).

The song is so right, “Jesus loves me.” And the one Whitney sang as a girl, “Just a little talk with Jesus makes it right.” Especially if that talk is to tell Him, “Jesus, I need Your love; that love You showed when You poured out Your life for my sin on that cross. So Jesus, I’m Yours…all Yours.” You can have a Jesus-upbringing, Jesus-beliefs, Jesus-words and still not know Jesus.

But that dark crossroads is where so many have come to know Him; out of answers, ready for a Savior, ready to give it all to the Man who gave up everything to rescue them. And He promises that “whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12 ).

I invite you today, maybe at your dark crossroads, to grab onto the One who said, “I will be for you the light of your life.” I would love to help you be sure you belong to Him. If you need someone to talk to, someone to say a special prayer for you today. Just drop me an email at pastorterry@cox.net, send me a facebook request, because it is often at the dark crossroads where the Light finally comes on.

Have a “Wonderful DAY in Christ,”

Pastor Terry

Family Worship Center

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