Striking a Match in the Darkness

Embracing Hope with Rend Collective

As you walk through life, you might find your path illuminated by both shadows and bursts of light. In a revealing conversation on Family Life Radio, Gareth Gilkeson and Chris Llewellyn from the Northern Irish band Rend Collective offer practical ways for you to find the light of Christ, helping you strike matches of hope in moments that feel overwhelmingly dark.

Gareth reminds us, “Everybody’s walking a path that is more complicated than it looks.” Each of our journeys are woven with threads of joy, sorrow, triumph, and tribulation. Recognizing this complexity is the first step toward a deeper understanding of ourselves and each other. It’s a reminder that it’s okay to face struggles, to feel lost at times.

Gareth continues, “that, for us, has become a little bit like a headline for our mission. And that place is to remind people that it’s okay, whatever you’re going through, there is a way to find hope. There is a way to strike a match in the darkness rather than to give up.”

Navigating Between Toxic Positivity and Despair

The balance between acknowledging our suffering and maintaining hope is delicate. Chris says, “I think quite often people choose a path of toxic positivity that avoids any idea that you’re allowed to suffer as a Christian, and then the other temptation would be total despair and just letting that take over.”

This false thinking can leave us feeling isolated and misunderstood. Yet, Chris suggests a third way, “acknowledging both at the same time is really all you’ve got.”

It’s about embracing the full spectrum of human experience, supported by faith that doesn’t shy away from reality.

Practical Strategies for Maintaining Hope

Gareth offers a tangible method for fostering hope: gratitude journaling. He shares, “Every day, a gratitude journal has been incredibly helpful for me in my walk … setting up every time I put my feet on the ground to say things that I’m grateful for.”

This practice serves as a daily reminder to look for God’s light, even on the darkest days. It’s a way to train our brains as Gareth notes. “I thank God for trying to keep those things at the front of my mind because my brain, and I would like to think everybody’s brain, unless mine’s broken, is prone towards the negative.”

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He continues, “So, if that’s the way that our brains naturally go, we need to remind ourselves; we need to stay in Scripture and keep those things at the front of our minds practically. That’s meditation and prayer in going over those things.”

Community and Conversation

The people we surround ourselves with can act as mirrors, reflecting back to us either the gloom of our doubts or the brightness of hope. Gareth advises, “If they’re negative talkers and that’s all they talk, you shouldn’t spend time with them because it just keeps you in a negative place.”

Seeking out and engaging with a community of hope-filled, optimistic individuals can significantly impact our faith journey. It’s not about ignoring the difficulties we face but choosing to approach them with a spirit of hope and resilience, buoyed by the support and understanding of our community.

Music as a Vehicle for Joy and Hope

For Rend Collective, music is more than melodies and harmonies; it’s a vehicle for joy and hope. Gareth shares, “Music in general has a joy feeling to it … I honestly don’t think there’s times that I can listen to music without feeling joy and even smiling myself.”

Rend Collective

Their music, infused with infectious joy, serves as a reminder of the beauty of God’s light available to us, even in moments of darkness. Let His joy transform moments of despair into opportunities for connection and uplift.

Your journey of faith, marked by its own unique trials and triumphs, is a testament to your resilience and capacity for hope. As you navigate the complexities of life, remember that lighting a match in the darkness offers hope for others on their journey, and Jesus is our collective light we share in our pursuit of Him.

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