“Who among you fears the Lord and obeys the word of his servant? Let him who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of the Lord and rely on his God.”
I remember when I first discovered that I might be a little claustrophobic. At the time, we lived in Florida and were on vacation in the mountains when one of us got the bright idea (I think it was me) that we should check out hiking down into some caverns. Now cavern tours are fairly common in the mountains, mostly geared for flat landers like me who have only dared to venture under an overpass on Interstate 95. There is just something intriguing about walking down a dark hole. There is something about it that is mysterious, unknown and exciting, yet so stupid! The guides at these places seem to have a sense about us non-mountain folk. They can spot us from a mile away. A wry grin slowly spreads across their homegrown faces as if to say, “Come on fellow, have we got a treat for you.” They then lure the unsuspecting travelers down into an ever tightening abyss for some dark fun of let’s turn out the lights and hear grown men scream like cats in front of their children! Yes, that’s right, the guide lead us down into the cave only to cut off the lights to supposedly illustrate what real darkness is like. And yes, I screamed like a cat in front of my four sons, “TURN THE LIGHTS BACK ON, THAT’S ENOUGH!”
It was dark! I couldn’t even perceive my hand in front of my face much less see it. I got so disoriented that I had no clue which way was which. It felt as if the walls were closing in on me. I began to ask questions to myself. What if there’s an earthquake? Who could ever find us? What if this guide’s flashlight batteries haven’t been changed out in the last century? What if the light bulbs burn out? What if the light switch fails? We’re doomed! Sounds a bit like Charlie Brown I know, but I was wondering if I should light up a match or something. However, if I did, I knew two things would immediately happen; first everyone would see me sweating like a fresh caught fish and second I would ruin the fun everyone else was having including my then 7-year-old twin boys. I was just going to have to trust the guide that somehow everything would soon come to light.
For many of us, this is how the dark areas of life can feel; the darkness that comes from loneliness, addictions, the loss of a loved one or the darkness of lingering shame. Many have known the darkness of failing health and certainly most have felt the shades of seemingly unanswered prayers, but in some way, every one of us has experienced a darkness that has caused us to feel a bit claustrophobic. Like being in a dark cavern we get disoriented, clueless, and we begin questioning; God, where are you? Like a Floridian tourist stuck in a dark cave with unanswered questions, we feel trapped in the darkness of our circumstances and blistered by the pace by which our imaginings of “worst case scenarios” take us into the unknown. We become tempted to light up a way for ourselves which can never illuminate that which we are blind to instead of trusting the guide of our hearts who has promised that He is trustworthy even in the dark.
It’s hard to trust in the light when we sense the walls are caving in on us, but if we add just a little darkness, then we can move into a full blown desperation and desperate people do desperate things. God would have us stay still in the dark and let Him guide us with His light. His light is not hard to see once we know what we’re looking for. His light is not luminescent, fluorescent, nor incandescent, but His light can only be seen through eyes fixated on trusting Him even in the dark. God offers us a choice between the terminally doomed light of our own ways or the ever-shining glory that trusting in Him alone can provide. There’s no need to be afraid of the dark; God is still shining through!
Father, I confess that I’m scared of the dark! I also confess that the darkness in my life has controlled me, and I have sought to light my own way only to see disasters. No more Father, no more! Praise be to you that the torment of my questionings and wonderings has brought me back to the ever-glowing warmth of your abounding grace! God, settle my life so that I may trust you even in the dark. Help me not to squirm and not struggle, but only stay still on the promise of your presence. I love you Father!
Reflection: Today seek out places that you have tried to live in the light of your own ways. Snuff out those flames and trust God to show you a better way out of your darkness. Tell God you will wait on Him, even in the darkness, to lighten your path. Also, read and reflect on Psalm 139 as you trust God with this day!
Amanda Williams is a forty-year old wife and mother of two who can still swing her pony tail and display just a tad of sass. She is also a Jesus loving girl who realizes she is nothing without the One who saved her. Amanda has two degrees specializing in serving students with special needs and is currently working in the field of Leadership Development. She is a Christian author, speaker, blogger, and publisher who loves serving beside her husband at her local place of worship, First Baptist Church of Ocala.