I remember my first nightlight. I got it when I was around 8. The soft warm light would fill my room just enough to put my heart at ease. Before my night light, I would turn off my light then rush to my bed for protection. It would take a few minutes for my eyes to adjust to the darkness in the room. My imagination would start to run wild. Shadows on the wall would come alive. A beam of moonlight would soften my fear for a few seconds.
My nightlight became my security. I could see what was happening so I theoretically believed I was still in control.
Psychologists tell us that we are born with two fears as infants. Just two. As infants, we are scared of falling and scared of loud sounds. Any other fear in our life, including the fear of the dark, is learned. So why does darkness seem to scare so many of us? Perhaps, I learned to fear the dark because of movies or cartoons. Or maybe because darkness is often associated with all that is wrong with this world, I subconsciously assumed it was to be avoided.
I’ve spent most of my life avoiding the dark.
In Isaiah 2:5 we read, “Come descendent let us walk in the light of the Lord.” What do you imagine when you read about the light of the Lord? You, like me, have been trained to see beaming white light that eradicates the mystery around you. And yet, I don’t believe this is what the author intended for us to envision. In the very next verse, we read about how humanity has failed to live up to God’s desires and that God has abandoned His people.
The world is crashing down around them. Everything was a mess and nothing made sense. Where could God possibly be? Perhaps God’s light doesn’t make all darkness go away, rather, exposes a path ahead and the darkness for what it is. Walking in God’s light is not an avoidance of the darkness. Instead, it is a bravery to walk through it.
Barbara Taylor Brown writes, “I have learned things in the dark that I could never have learned in the light, things that have saved my life over and over again, so that there is really only one logical conclusion. I need darkness as much as I need light.”
So today, settle your heart. When your fear of the dark begins to take over, hold tightly to the God who never leaves or forsakes you. No longer a child, I have decided to stop hiding under my covers but to allow the darkness to be present and trust that God has given me all the light I need in order to keep walking.