She stood by my bed at midnight. Holding her Bumblebee Pillow Pet in one hand, she dragged her pink and purple quilt behind her.
I fumbled for my glasses and reached out a hand to stroke her hair.
“Mom,” she cried, “it’s too dark.”
I walked with my daughter back to her room and realized that the one light we always keep on had been turned off accidentally. Our house was truly black.
It’s as if my girl has an internal light-sensory device. As soon as she sensed darkness, she had awoken and plodded across the house half-asleep in order to regain light.
Have you ever grown aware of darkness?
Have you woken up to a sun-bright day, but still feel the heaviness of the unknown?
Have you felt pommeled by Satan, test and trial after test and trial, and you lose hope of the brightness of the future?
Have you ever felt overwhelmed by shadows, gloom, fear and worry?
We’re like plants, always growing toward a source of light, reaching up and over obstacles until we bask in the warm, nourishing rays of the sun.
We can do this with God because He is a light-bringer. He is always shining brightness into our dark places.
God “divided the light from the darkness” at creation (Genesis 1:4) and declared that it was good. It was His first act as Creator in a formless void of a world.
And when God sent us a Savior, He declared that Jesus was “the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world” (John 1:7-9). This is what the prophet Isaiah had promised: “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, Upon them a light has shined” (Isaiah 9:2).
What does this mean for us? What does a God who forms light out of darkness and a Savior who brings light to the world mean for our lives now?
It means we can trust Him to shine on the steps we need to take, to reveal His will, and to be present in our darkest moments. David rejoiced: “For you are my lamp, O Lord; the Lord shall enlighten my darkness” (2 Samuel 22:29). In the Psalms, David also wrote:
“For You will light my lamp; The LORD my God will enlighten my darkness (Psalm 18:28).
God is just like the one light we leave on in my house after we’ve flicked off the other switches. He is our Lamp at all times and in all places.
Even so, we all have moments when we can’t see the light, can’t feel its warmth, can’t identify its glow. We’re in the shadows and we know it. What then?
David also wrote : “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me” (Psalm 23:4).
He is with us in the shadows and He will walk us on out of there. We need not fear.
In the same way, my daughter stopped crying the moment I grabbed her hand at midnight and guided her back to her room. She was calmed by my presence even before I turned on the lamp and tucked her back into bed.
God is with us in the dark places. He knows and sees us there. Not only that, we can ask Him to reveal to us the treasures hidden in the shadows.
Isaiah tells us: “I will give you the treasures of darkness and And hidden riches of secret places, That you may know that I, the LORD, Who call you by your name, Am the God of Israel” (Isaiah 45:3).
Daniel similarly wrote: “He reveals deep and secret things; He knows what is in the darkness, And light dwells with Him” (Daniel 2:22).
Maybe there’s great treasure hidden in your darkness right now. Perhaps God longs to share with you secret things that are covered over in shadow, lessons we can’t learn in perpetual sunshine and a knowledge of Him that we can only discover in the valley.
Why is darkness so frightening to us? Is it because we can’t see where we’re going? Is it because we don’t know what’s hidden in the shadows? Is it because we can’t tell who is next to us?
Whatever our fears, whoever “walks in darkness and has no light” can “trust in the name of the Lord and rely upon His God” (Isaiah 50:10). We can be certain of His presence. We can trust Him to shine brightly when we need to see. We can count on Him to see through darkness and reveal to us the secrets and treasures of the deep places.
So, reach for God’s light today, just like the plant on the windowsill bending toward the sun. In the middle of your darkness, your sadness or despair, your gloom or hopeless state and all the shadows of the unknown, stretch out until you are warmed by His presence and in awe of His glory.
For more thoughts on this topic, you can read these other devotionals:
Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer for www.myfrienddebbie.com and worship leader. Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness. To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.
Copyright © 2011 Heather King