What If Darkness Wasn’t Dark Anymore?

Some never outgrow their childhood fear of the dark, while others come to terms with the inevitability, even the necessity of some hours of darkness. Whether that darkness is the roughly twelve hours of darkness each day holds, or the more painful darkness of the hard paths of life, we acquiesce to its presence. But what if darkness wasn’t dark anymore?

The uncertainty of darkness fosters frustration and even fear when we cannot see a way forward or fathom the length or breadth of its presence.

Even in the familiar surroundings of my home, finding myself in the middle of my darkened basement during a recent power outage left me disoriented and anxious as I fumbled my way to the stairs.

How much more dread envelopes me as I attempt navigating dark days of grief, loss and suffering?

black and white photo of woman in black blouse looking out window

In my mind, I equated suffering with darkness. As a young girl, I faced hardship, abuse, loss and trauma alone. Vivid memories of claustrophobic nights of loneliness and cruel taunts attend my unguarded quiet, and curiously follow me to the present.

Wading through the healing process of not only childhood trauma, but adult trauma, hardship and recent loss cloak my consciousness with darkness.

Not merely about suffering or the hard places of life, darkness also plagues us in the form of indecision, confusion and uncertainty in the outcomes or direction of everyday events.

Often feeling “in the dark” about a situation or a change at work, cues my anxiety response as I search for road signs on yet another unfamiliar life path.

Both times of navigating the darkness of suffering and the murkiness of life’s muddy waters challenge my trust in God’s leading, tempting me to either find my own well-lit path or pull the covers over my head until the morning comes.

“If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.”

Psalm 139:11-12

hands reaching towards light

Yet there is a truth which sets me free from my fear of the darkness of suffering and gives me confidence walking the dark paths of uncertainty: darkness is not dark to God.

Working through past trauma always dredges up fear with the unburying of old memories.

Facing the past often feels much like stepping into a dark room where we cannot find the light switch or dread flipping it.

Coming to the threshold of some hard places only to shrink back from the darkness, God whispered the words of Psalm 139:11-12 to me. Even the darkest places were Light to Him.

God is Light and there is no darkness in Him, (1 John 1:5) and no darkness can overcome Him. (John 1:5) This truth holds firm in my darkest times because God is always with me.

hands opening double doors to brilliant light

But not only is He always with me, there is no place my foot treads where He has not gone first.

When we face a difficult conversation, God goes first, when we receive a dreaded phone call, God goes first, when we must walk through grief, God goes first.

Whether facing monumental suffering or the everyday unknowns, God goes first.

“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”

Deuteronomy 31:8

Darkness is not dark anymore when I remember darkness is not dark to God, who not only goes with me, but goes first into every situation. I enter no circumstance where God has not been first, there are no unknowns to Him, and He already knows the end from the beginning.

What a comfort and freedom in knowing whatever lay ahead, God gets there first, so that any darkness I face will not be dark, but full of the Light of His Presence.

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